Aboriginal Fishing Agreements

The ministry will work with other public and Commonwealth authorities, the industrial and recreational fishing industry and traditional owners to facilitate economic development. Canadian dishes did not create the right of Aboriginal people to fish; they simply understood that it had never been erased and that it continued to exist. As noted above, the Supreme Court found that members of the Musqueam Indian Band had the right to fish, particularly for food and social and ceremonial purposes. It also found that the Crown was not in a position to demonstrate that this right had been extinguished by the regulations of the Fisheries Act. To eliminate an Aboriginal right, the Crown must demonstrate a clear and clear intention to do so. The Supreme Court found that neither the law nor the regulations revealed the necessary intent to destroy an Aboriginal right protected by the Constitution. The fact that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued licences to individuals at its discretion merely suggested the intent to manage the fishery and not the attempt to define Aboriginal fishing rights. (f) information that a designated person or the master of a designated vessel must report to the Minister or a person designated by the licensee prior to the start of fishing activities, including the method by which the report should be prepared and when; In response to Sparrow, the Aboriginal Fishing Strategy was launched in 1992 to recognize the right of Aborigines to fish. The strategy applies where the Department of Fisheries and Oceans manages the fishery and where agreements or other agreements do not yet exist. Ronald Sparrow, a member of the Musqueam Indian Band in British Columbia, was charged with fishing with a net longer than he allowed on his food fishing licence, in violation of the Fishing Act.

Mr. Sparrow did not dispute the facts; on the contrary, he argued, in his defence, that he exercised an existing Aboriginal fishing right, protected by the Constitution in accordance with Section 35. The Supreme Court of Canada, while agreeing that members of the Musqueam Indian Band, including Mr. Sparrow, had the right to fish, particularly for food and social and ceremonial purposes, ordered that certain constitutional issues be referred to the court and defined the criteria that the judge should consider when considering these matters. The Supreme Court strongly indicated that the government should enter into negotiations with Aboriginal peoples on fisheries management to avoid future litigation.