New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council

Natural Resources

Introduction

The Natural Resource Program was developed in reaction to the creation of the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS), first launched by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in response to the landmark ruling of the Sparrow Decision. The Sparrow Decision determined that Aboriginal people have the inherent right to fish for food, social, and ceremonial purposes. NBAPC’s Natural Resource Manager works collaboratively with DFO to provide stable management and regulation of fishing activities by NBAPC’s membership. This is accomplished through the negotiation of a mutually acceptable and time-limited fishery arrangement between DFO and NBAPC. Once an arrangement has been reached, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will issue a license to NBAPC which reflects the arrangement. NBAPC is then responsible for distributing the license to the membership and monitoring all harvesting efforts. The information collected during the monitoring of harvesting efforts is then compiled and provided to DFO, as established in the arrangement.

Mission Statement

To act as an Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors and Executive of NBAPC to ensure that the best possible arrangement is achieved so as to allow the members of NBAPC to have access to the various fisheries to fulfill their Food, Social and Ceremonial needs for themselves and families; without fear of threat, intimidation or harassment by federal or provincial enforcement officers; until such time that this arrangement is replaced with a land claims agreement.

Purpose

  • To provide for a point of future discussions between DFO and the Council on off-reserve fish harvesting and management in the area mutually agreed to by the Council and DFO;
  • To enhance the involvement of the Council in the management, protection and enhancement of the several fishery resources and fish habitat in the area mutually agreed to by the Council and DFO and,
  • To explore, develop and promote the Council’s access to fisheries resources in the area mutually agreed to by the Council and DFO.

Projects

NBAPC’s natural resource program has been working collaboratively with multiple organizations throughout New Brunswick to promote environmental sustainability and stewardship. The projects NBAPC are currently involved with include:

Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy: NBAPC is continuing to participate in the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy to provide the membership with the opportunity to harvest a variety of aquatic species for food, social, and ceremonial purposes.

  1. Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon Conservation and Recovery Team: NBAPC’s natural resource program has established a partnership with the Inner Bay of Fundy (IBoF) Atlantic Salmon Conservation and Recovery Team and will assist in the establishment of strategies and policies to aid in the species’ recovery. The primary goal of this team is to re-establish wild, self-sustaining populations of IBoF Atlantic Salmon. NBAPC will also provide scientific information to support the new and on-going projects of various team members.
  2. Saint John Watershed Management Committee: NBAPC’s natural resource program has established a partnership with the Saint John Watershed Management Committee, led by the Maliseet Nation Conservation Council. NBAPC will assist the Committee in the establishment of policies and procedures designed to promote the health, sustainability, and water quality of the St. John River and broader watershed region.
  3. AFSAR Project: This project is studying and assessing the ecosystem changes and damages associated with seasonal flooding and riverbank erosion within the Nashwaak Watershed, from Stanley to Penniac Bridge.  The focus will be on American Eel and Atlantic Salmon habitat.  By identifying areas of interest and completing an assessment of the river system we will be able to reflect and interpret how erosion and sedimentation deposited into the Nashwaak River system can impact Atlantic Salmon and American Eel Habitat.  Reporting Form for the AFSAR Project

NBAPC’s natural resource program will continue to establish meaningful relationships with other organizations in the region to help promote and enhance New Brunswick’s natural environment.