Since fishing was such an important economic activity for the Mi’kmaq, issues related to the fishing rights of salmon and lobster were close to their heart and sometimes led to clashes with non-Indigenous people. In 1981, the government’s decision to limit catches of salmon caused anger among the Mi’kmaq. This led to a police raid in the community of Listuguj where many Mi’kmaq were arrested. For the Mi’kmaq, salmon was a traditional source of food and income.

The Mi’kmaq from Restigouche eventually came to an agreement about salmon fishing with the Quebec government. They protected their rights to salmon fishing and protected the resource by limiting the duration of the fishing season. In 1982, the Mi’kmaq from Maria joined non-Indigenous neighboring villages to form the Salmon Management Company of Great Cascapedia. The Mi’kmaq also reduced their catch, and in exchange, got the right to half of the jobs created by this organization which arranged fishing trips.

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social

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