OTTAWA, Nov. 23, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, issued the following statement today:
No relationship is more important to our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples from coast to coast to coast. We are committed to reconciliation and to an improved future for Indigenous Peoples.
It is in this spirit that I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. J.B. (Jim) Jones as Lead Federal Fisheries Negotiator to advance negotiations towards the reconciliation of fisheries rights in the Maritimes and Quebec with Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations and the Peskotomuhkati. These fisheries negotiations are part of a broader reconciliation effort led by the department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.
I have known Mr. Jones for over 20 years. He is a longtime public servant, having spent many years in senior positions with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Mr. Jones is respected for his extensive work with Indigenous communities, and has a deep understanding of Indigenous fisheries rights and an extensive knowledge of the fisheries' importance to coastal communities.
Fishing is an important cultural activity for Indigenous Peoples. Our government also recognizes that the fisheries can be a sustainable economic driver for these communities and, so, these negotiations present an opportunity for fish and seafood to be a focal point for growth. I will be personally meeting with Mr. Jones on a regular basis to follow up on his progress on this broad, new mandate I have given him.
Through these agreements, we will be seeking to establish a deeper relationship with the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Peskotomuhkati based on recognition of rights and greater self-determination. This approach will contribute to improving the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples while also providing for greater stability and predictability to the benefit of all those involved in the fisheries.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada
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