Grand Chief of the Maliseet of Viger First Nation
At the outset of the 21st century, Quebec Maliseet’s took part in commercial fisheries activities, following the Sparrow and Marshall judgements. In 2000, the federal government granted them a permit to fish snow crab and northern shrimp. Then, in 2006, they got an exploratory permit to fish sea urchin and, in 2012, two permits to fish ground fish and three permits for whelk. In 2009, a committee was formed to manage commercial fisheries, it is called the «Comité de gestion de l’entreprise de pêche commerciale (EPC) »; ensued the creation of Maliseet of Viger First Nation.
Its main objectives and mandates are as follows:
Coordinate commercial and food fisheries, commercial permits and boats; manage material and human resources; recruit personnel and manage its training; implement policies on fishing practices; prepare budgets and manage finances; set-up plans for commercial fisheries; prepare and follow-up development projects relating specifically to commercial fisheries.
In addition to providing financial assistance and creating stable employment for the community we aim at training and retaining our staff, proceeding with further and more intensive recruitment within the community and provide necessary tools to ensure recruits get the essential training required in the field of commercial fisheries. At this point in time over 50 % of crew members of the fleet are Aboriginals from the Maliseet First Nation.
The development of the Maliseet Fisheries represents a commercial leverage for both our Nation and the Lower St-Lawrence and Gaspésie regions. We are proud to participate in the development of our communities. The management committee is keeping abreast of new opportunities to expand and diversify capacities of the commercial fisheries enterprises. (CFE).).