History ~ Social & Ceremonial Fishing

Prior to 1999, the Mi’kmaq of Lennox Island had the right to fish for the purposes of food, as well as for social and ceremonial purposes. But in 1999, The Supreme Court of Canada’s Marshall Case modified these rights. In essence, the court ruled that treaties signed in 1760 and 1761 by Mi’kmaq and Maliseet communities only included a communal right to hunt, fish and gather in pursuit of a “moderate livelihood.” To address the Marshall decision, Fisheries and Oceans Canada set out to negotiate fishing agreements that would give First Nations the opportunity to succeed in the commercial fishery.

Today, Lennox Island Fisheries employ more than 100 native and non-native people. The majority of these jobs are involved in fish harvesting, but plans are underway to diversify the Band’s involvement in the fishing industry to include processing plants, marketing, aquaculture and supply retail outlets. Our forward-thinking plans continue to provide Lennox Island with a solid foundation for a stable economy.

SOCIAL OR CEREMONIAL TAGS

Requests for social or ceremonial tags must be received, in writing, at least 10 days prior to the social or ceremonial event. Unless the event is for the community, you must supply your own bait and traps. Requests can be submitted in person, by mail or by email.

Please contact Emily Bernard by mail: PO Box 134, Lennox Island, PE, C0B 1P0 or by email: emily.bernard@lennoxisland.com.

Please provide the following information in your request to Fisherman’s Pride:

a) The name of the event
b) The date of the event
c) The number of participants
d) The number of lobsters required
e) The dates you will be fishing

You must turn in your tags immediately on your last day of fishing.

When your request is approved, you must make arrangements with the Fisheries Director for a Monitor to accompany you on your boat. The Monitor must be present to observe the measuring and the count of your catch.

REPLACEMENT TAGS

Your request for a replacement tag must be mailed to Fisherman’s Pride, PO Box 134, Lennox Island, PE, C0B 1P0. You must turn in your old tag if it’s available. Your old tag number will be voided, and both the old and the new tag numbers will be given to the Monitors, the Guardians, and DFO.

ALL catches must be monitored at the Lennox Island wharf. ANY CATCHES NOT MONITORED WILL RESULT IN REPOSSESSION OF YOUR TAG PLUS THE LOSS OF ACCESS TO THE FOOD FISHERY FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS.

We have created a list of all tag numbers for:

a) All fishers
b) Fishers who are fishing for elders
c) Off reserve fishers

This list is revised/updated on a daily basis and is given to the Monitors, the Guardians, the Band Council and to DFO.