by Shara Johnson, Communications Officer, KMKNO

Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs, Councillors, Grand Council and representatives from many of the Mi’kmaq organizations came together on October 2nd and 3rd 2013, at the 5th Annual Nationhood Conference in Halifax to discuss the successes and challenges faced during the past year.

The priority of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs has always been to ensure accountability for their decisions, and this year’s conference was no exception. Each Lead Chief provided a report on their respective portfolios. Presentations highlighted the many successes in portfolios such as Education, Sports and Recreation- just to name a few. There were discussions of the challenges that still reside in portfolios including Health, Gaming and Social.

One item on the agenda which was of particular interest to the Chiefs and Councils was the long awaited Fisheries Mandate which has recently been introduced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

Fourteen years after the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the right to a Moderate Livelihood Fishery in the Marshall Decision, DFO has finally received the mandate to begin discussions with the Mi’kmaq on how to implement this right.

The mandate, as introduced, has both long-term and short-term components on a number of issues, including access, allocation, management and consultation of the Aboriginal fishery in Atlantic Canada.

“There are still more questions than there are answers,” said Chief ...

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