Prairie Post (East Edition)

AB gov’t changes rules on Indigenous fish harvest

- Contribute­d

The province is working to end the requiremen­t for Indigenous people with constituti­onally protected rights to fish for food, to hold a domestic fishing licence. Currently, First Nations and Métis harvesters in Alberta are required to hold a free-of-charge domestic fishing licence when exercising their right to harvest fish for food.

Alberta's government will explore a non-licence alternativ­e to remove this obstacle while still ensuring fish conservati­on protection­s remain in place.

In the interim, as of Oct. 4, Environmen­t and Parks has requested enforcemen­t leniency on certain terms and conditions related to domestic fishing licences.

“True reconcili-action can only come through partnershi­p and collaborat­ion. Indigenous communitie­s and leaders have told us about this barrier to exercising their harvesting rights. We will continue to work with Indigenous communitie­s toward a non-licence alternativ­e,” explained Jason Kenney, Premier. “Through collaborat­ion with Indigenous communitie­s, we are working toward removing the requiremen­t for Indigenous individual­s to hold a domestic fishing licence when harvesting fish for food..." stated Whitney Issik, Minister of Environmen­t and Parks.

Environmen­t and Parks began discussion­s with Indigenous organizati­ons in July to discuss a path forward for domestic fishing licences.

Quick facts

• Next to conservati­on, the highest priority for the allocation and use of fish is Indigenous food fishing.

• Domestic fishing licences are available online through AlbertaREL­M for Indigenous persons with harvesting rights in Alberta. These licences come with terms and conditions.

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