The Mi`gwitetm`81 being unloaded
Snow crab traps being loaded
Ice Conditions 2014

Ice conditions in the gulf are in high density and will determine when some fisheries will...

2014 Fishing season is about to start

We are about to start our 2014 fishing season and here are a few starting dates for the...

The Mi`gwitetm`81 being unloaded
Snow crab traps being loaded
Ice Conditions 2014
2014 Fishing season is about to start


Restigouche Raid
On June 11 and 20, 1981, the Quebec Provincial Police and fisheries officers raided Restigouche Reserve, arrested residents and seized their boats in order to prevent them from commercially fishing salmon.

At issue were the salmon-fishing rights of the Mi’gmaq people. Because salmon has traditionally been a source of food and income for the Mi’gmaq, the province's decision to restrict fishing aroused consternation and anger among the Native people.

The conducted controversial raids on the reserve aimed to stop the Mi'gmaq from asserting their control over their native fishery. Federal Indian Affairs Minister John Munro was among those critical of the manner in which the Quebec government and provincial minister Lucien Lessard had acted. All convictions resulting from the arrests were eventually overturned. Today, the Restigouche River is known as one of the best-managed salmon rivers in the country.

The raids and their aftermath were documented by Alanis Obomsawin in her 1984 film Incident at Restigouche. You can watch the film in its entirety on the National Film Board site


R. v. Marshall

In August 1993, Donald J. Marshall Jr., a Mi’gmaq from the Membertou First Nations was detained in Pomquet Harbour, Antigonish Country, N.S., where his fishing equipment was seized. According to the application, Marshall was charged with several offences including: fishing without a license, selling eels without a license, and fishing during off-season.

Marshall took it upon himself to defend our inherited Aboriginal rights and proceeded to address his argument to the Supreme Courts of Canada. His defence was that the Mi’gmaq people have long withstanding traditional practices and customs that have sustained their livelihood. These traditions predate European contact and colonisation and supporting documents illustrate that the British recognized and honoured Aboriginal tradition. As a sign of respect, the British and the Mi’gmaq people signed the Peace and Friendship Treaties (1760-1761).
In 1999, the Supreme Court’s decision saw recognition of the traditional role of fishing in Mi’gmaq culture and a right to sustain as well as earn a modest living.
With the onset of the Marshall decision and Listuguj’s entry into commercial fishery, it was an extremely positive step forward for Listuguj’s determination to finally be self-sufficient and sustainable. It allowed Listuguj Mi’gmaq people the right to fish, upholding a long tradition.

Further Reading:  

The Marshall Decision and Native Rights by Kenneth Coates

 Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land and Donald Marshall Junior by William C. Wicken


Recent Publications

Salmon Fishery