Fishing is part of First Nations culture and identity. It sustains First Nations peoples and economies and is a constitutionally protected inherent and Treaty right. In the spirit of reconciliation and raising awareness of our shared history and future, the Assembly of First Nations National Fisheries Committee, by direction from Chiefs-in -Assembly, have declared the Monday preceding May 25 a National Day of First Nations Fishing Rights.
This year, National Day of First Nation Fishing Rights falls on May 18, 2020. This will be the third year there is a day to honour the inherent right to fish, to raise awareness of its interconnectedness to growing sustainable environments, conservation, and water protection and fostering healthy individuals and nations. In AFN Resolution 75/2017, National Day of First Nations Fishing Rights, Victoria Day was chosen by the National Fisheries Committee as a statement: this is an effort to decolonize a day named for the Queen who presided over many of the Treaties made with First Nations.
This year, the right of First Nations to fish is especially important due to the current COVID-19 crisis. We recognize that this crisis has exacerbated existing food security concerns for many First Nations communities that may be experiencing the direct impacts of interruptions to food production and supply. We caution that if you are in region where social distancing and other pandemic-related safety measures are in place, please respect those measures in the interests of health and safety.
For those who can, take a photo of yourself or your family exercising your inherent right to fish.
To submit your photo to our giveaway contest, please upload to Twitter or Facebook and use the hashtag #FirstNationFishingRights and #AFNFisheries2020
Twenty winners will be chosen from all those who use the hashtag!
If you have any questions please email [email protected] or call 613-241-6789, ext. 161.
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