Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I.
Moderate Livelihood Study
In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) intended to put forth a vision for what the parameters should be for Indigenous peoples to earn a living through fisheries after a legally precedent-setting case decision regarding a Mi’kmaq man who harvested and sold some eels off the shores of Nova Scotia’s coast. The SCC found that because of the existing Peace and Friendship Treaties, the Mi’kmaq people of Atlantic Canada had the right to earn a “moderate livelihood” from fishing. Unfortunately, the governments interpretation of a “moderate livelihood” didn’t represent the current realities and interests of the Mi’kmaq of PEI. The Mi’kmaq Conferderacy of PEI was seeking a meaningful understanding of the concept that reflected their treaty rights, cultural values and community interests. Shared Value Solutions was retained to carry out a study to develop a more culturally relevant understanding of what a “Moderate Livelihood” means and how it relates to Indigenous rights and fisheries.
Our research team carried out a mix of desktop research and community interviews to review existing definitions and case law surrounding the topic and document the perspectives of Mi’kmaq chiefs, fishermen, and family members and others who work in the Indigenous commercial fishing industry in PEI. Knowledge and perspectives collected during the interviews was compiled and presented in themes to identify common understandings, values, issues and community interests.
Value for the Client Group
Armed with this culturally relevant understanding the Mi’kmaq of PEI have a new tool in their arsenal for understanding what a “moderate livelihood” means to their community. This is beneficial for understanding existing rights and in any future negotiations with the Crown.
2016 – 2017
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