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The north shore innu
participate in resource management

The members of the seven Innu communities on the coast are inarguably major Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) partners on the North Shore. These communities – and their populations of about 6,400 members – are located in the area between Tadoussac and Blanc-Sablon.

With the collaboration of the DFO Aboriginal program delivery team in the region, the North Shore area managers negotiate and implement a variety of collaborative projects essential to the development of these shoreline communities. Their interests are usually represented by AMIK, an organisation mandated to speak with DFO on behalf of the North Shore Innu in a variety of files connected to community, traditional and cultural fishing.

A unique collaborator
AMIK stands for Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseth, which could translate as Together, Aboriginal fish harvesters. Founded in February 2006, AMIK partners with the Innu of Essipit (Les Escoumins), Ekuantshit (Mingan), Uashat mak Mani-Utenam (Sept-Îles/ Moisie), Nutaskuan (Natashquan), Pessamit (Betsiamites), Pakua Shipu (Saint-Augustin) and Unamen Shipu (La Romaine). The creation of this organisation was backed by the DFO’s Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management Program (AAROM), which aims to give Aboriginals a role in the fisheries management process. The Agency’s first actions were to proceed – with the support of various departments and ministries – to buy commercial fishing enterprises and train crews. Through a range of partnerships, AMIK and the Innu communities have managed to extend their activities to include all aspects of the commercial fishing industry, including the crew training and catch processing.

DFO’s North Shore Area is a partner in several AMIK initiatives, including a project conducted in collaboration with the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, which involves establishing an Aboriginal territorial officer program in some Innu communities. A memorandum of understanding regarding the work to be done by community officers would enable DFO to increase its capacity to deliver services in a range of fields such as conservation and protection, statistics gathering, resource management and raising public awareness about the need to protect habitat and species at risk.

An Aboriginal affairs coordinator position was recently created for the North Shore Area. This addition will allow DFO to strengthen its business relationships with various stakeholders and ensure the fullest possible integration of Innu in activities managed by the Department.

Martin St-Gelais
Director, North Shore Area