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 New fishing agreement between province and Saugeen Ojibway Nation

 

March 16, 2013

First Nations

 

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According to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) of the new Ontario Government, a new commercial fishing agreement with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) has been approved.

SON is made up of the Saugeen First Nation #29 and the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

The new government and SON "... will work together to manage the commercial fishery, including monitoring fish populations and setting harvest limits." 

The agreement will be in effect for five years and is expected to encourage new economic development opportunities for SON and provide "... clarity and certainty around fisheries management in the Bruce Peninsula area.

Under a previous agreement. SON agreed not to fish in the waters of Owen Sound and Colpoys Bay year-round but the new agreement now means that SON will be able to fish year-round using nets effective April 26.  Also, in the previous agreement, native commercial fishing was allowed from Georgian Bay south to Point Clarke on Lake Huron and the new agreement continues to cover the same area.

David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, released a statement saying that "Ontario is continuing to work with First Nations in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding.  Agreements like this one are significant in advancing the province's relationship with individual communities so that First Nations can participate in the management of natural resources."

According to Saugeen First Nation's Chief Randall Kahgee in a Ministry release, "The new agreement continues to build on the progress that SON and MNR have made since Jones and Nadjiwon was decided in 1993.  SON looks forward to continuing its work with Ontario and other government agencies to ensure that the waters and lands that sup-port our fisheries are protected for future generations.  This agreement is a true milestone in our relationship."

The 1993 agreement recognized that SON has an Aboriginal and treaty right to fish for sustenance commercial purposes in the waters of Lake Huron that is protected under section 35 of the Constitution.

 

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Saturday, March 16, 2013