(AGENPARL) – OTTAWA (CANADA), dom 25 ottobre 2020
The role of the Federal Special Representative (FSR) is to facilitate open communication as a neutral third party with the aim to rebuild trust and cooperation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous fish harvesters. The FSR is a dedicated, neutral, and senior third-party official to whom both parties can direct their concerns.
The FSR will begin his work immediately. His initial priority will be to meet with Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq and commercial sector leaders and harvesters to listen to concerns, communicate information, and foster dialogue with the objective of decreasing tensions and preventing further escalation of this conflict.
In the coming weeks and months, the FSR will continue to meet with Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq leaders and harvesters and commercial sector leaders and harvesters. In addition, the FSR will meet with Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey (Maliseet), and Peskotomuhkati in other parts of Atlantic Canada and the Gaspé region of Quebec, commercial leaders and harvesters in other parts of Atlantic Canada, provincial governments, and others as appropriate. The intent of these meetings will be to:
- gather the different perspectives on the issues contributing to the current situation;
- seek to build understanding and find common ground that will reduce tensions; and
- identify opportunities to improve relationships and reach a lasting solution moving forward.
Specifically, the FSR will:
- be available to lead or attend meetings with implicated parties;
- engage in dialogue with the various parties, ensuring all sides are heard;
- regularly brief the Government of Canada on key findings; and
- prepare two reports, which will be provided to the Ministers of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and of Crown–Indigenous Relations, as well as to the public.
The FSR will produce an interim and final report. The final report will include key findings related to the Indigenous–commercial sector relationship in Atlantic Canada and recommendations for how best to move forward with the implementation of the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood for the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey (Maliseet), and Peskotomuhkati in the region. The FSR will also provide strategic advice to the Ministers of Crown–-Indigenous Relations and of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, about how the Government of Canada can best engage stakeholders on the broader implementation of Indigenous rights and reconciliation agenda going forward.
Dialogue with the FSR will not replace ongoing negotiations the Government of Canada is having with First Nations through Rights Reconciliation Agreement negotiation tables, nor will it replace opportunities for Indigenous leaders or the commercial sector to meet with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.
The FSR is not a Government of Canada employee and will act independently of the Government of Canada. The FSR does not have the authority to undertake a Nation-to-Nation negotiating role or a duty to consult role, nor is it within his authority to provide policy or operational advice related to fisheries science, management, or enforcement or public safety.