Critical Success Factors in the First Nations Fishery of Atlantic Canada: Mi'kmaw and Maliseet Perceptions
The Supreme Court of Canada, through the Marshall decision (1999), affirmed the Aboriginal treaty rights of Atlantic Canada First Nations to catch fish for commercial sale. The objective of this project was to identify and examine the critical success factors (CSFs) of different Atlantic Canada First Nations communities as they pursued the commercial fishery ten years after this decision. The team took a participative-research approach to identify critical success factors across the First Nations fishery through a comparison of the strategies used by eleven different communities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Success is perceived by each person involved in the fishery as well as by individual communities. It may vary across the communities surveyed.
Since the Marshall decision Canadian government officials retained the right to regulate how the fishery would take place, and how much fish could be caught. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has also invested significant financial resources in the First Nations fishery. The use made of these resources has contributed to this research.
The report documents Mi’kmaw and Maliseet perceptions of success in the commercial fisheries in different First Nations communities. It provides an understanding of why there has been success, some means of communicating CSFs and some of the barriers to sharing good practices across First Nations communities. The identification of successful strategies will provide assistance with future business planning and policy development. As the First Nations fishery evolves, communities and fishers can both learn and adapt to make the fishery a success.