Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK)

February 2, 2016

No matter what the problem may be, if all of the affected stakeholders are not involved in coming up with a solution it likely won’t work out.

That’s why the Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK) knew a collaborative approach was needed when it came to helping the Atlantic salmon in the region.

The ASCF provided AMIK with a $20,000 grant for the project “Regional round table on participatory management of Atlantic salmon by the Innu communities of the North Shore.” AMIK works with seven Innu communities of the North Shore – Ekuanitshit, Essipit, Nutashkuan, Pakua Shipu, Pessamit, Uashat mak Mani-Utenam and Unamen Shipu.

The round table project was created with the objective to facilitate the implementation of stewardship actions that will reduce the threats to the recovery of Atlantic salmon.

In an assessment published in 2010, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), granted the status of Atlantic salmon (Western North Shore population) as ‘special concern’.

The AMIK project helped the seven Innu communities participate in salmon recovery in the spring and summer of 2015. The communities access at least 12 salmon rivers, including River Escoumins, Betsiamites, Moisie, the Roman, the Natashquan, the Étamamiou, the Musquaro, the Olomane, and the Washicoutai.

“The aim of the project was to facilitate the implementation of conservation measures for the Atlantic salmon that were developed by the Innus in order to reduce the threats concerning the health and the habitat of salmon,” says AMIK’s Mathieu Marsa.

“The project focuses on the preservation of the Atlantic Salmon in the Innu rivers. In order to implement this global objective, three specific objectives were identified – facilitate the sharing of information and initiate cooperation between the Innu communities represented, the necessity of implementing the traditional knowledge of the Innus within the new initiatives, and the creation of an Innu round table on the Atlantic salmon in order to adopt concerted measures at a regional scale.”

Marsa says the first round table with representatives of the seven communities was held on May 28, 2015 to define precisely the first measures that would be implemented in each community.

“In September, our team visited all the seven communities to evaluate all the actions implemented for the protection of this fish. We have also held public meetings in each community to present the project and to identify stakes and ideas to develop new measures of preservation in the future.”

“In the end, eleven measures were implemented in the communities. One measure was developed by all seven communities. It is a letter sent to the MPO signed by the seven Innu Chiefs and by Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, which ask for the pursuit of a complete scientific research on the impact of marine fisheries on the Atlantic salmon.”

Marsa says the other measures focus on claiming ancestral rights, on the requests of Innu communities to develop cooperation with other concerned groups, strengthening awareness within the communities, and public consultations.
This round table project shows that a lot can be accomplished when everyone comes to the table.