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Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council ANNUAL REPORT 2010 2

Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council

ANNUAL REPORT

2010

OUR WORLD IS FOREVER CHANGING, AND WE ARE CHANGING WITH IT.

OUR WORLD IS FOREVER CHANGING, AND WE ARE CHANGING WITH IT. 3

Will you ever begin to understand the meaning of the soil beneath your very feet? From a grain of sand to a great mountain, all is sacred. Yesterday and tomorrow exist eternally upon this continent. We natives are the guardians

of this sacred place. - Peter Blue Cloud, Mohawk

Table of contents

Year in Review CANDO award National Chief Visits Honoring our Elders Unique Way of Telling a Story Projects Elver PLAMU Netugulimg Meet the Staff Tia’mugwet Youth Initiative 2009 Social Media and You Margaret LaBillois Scholarship ISO Certification Charlo Fish Hatchery Donald Marshall Financials

Charlo Fish Hatchery Donald Marshall Financials ISO 9001:2008 certified Quality Management System
Charlo Fish Hatchery Donald Marshall Financials ISO 9001:2008 certified Quality Management System

ISO 9001:2008 certified Quality Management System implemented.

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Editorial and Production Team

John Murvin Vicaire Mark J. Sark

GMRC

94B Riverside East, Listuguj, QC GOC 2R0

418.788.3017

www.migmaqresource.org

3rd ANNUAL REPORT ISSUE #3 / VOLUME 01

This report is printed on FSC cer- tified recycled paper, which is manufactured carbon neutral us- ing 100% renewable electricity.

This document was produced by the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council communications and marketing department.

The editorial team would like to thank the numerous staff members who helped make this annual report possible.

help us make a difference

help us make a difference

Year in Review

Message from the CEO

Friends,

F or an organization as young as ours, every year feels different from the one before. We are con-

stantly learning and adapting. These rapid advances and growth can add to the feeling that we are moving faster than ever. Nevertheless we need to remind our- selves why we are in business.

Year 2009-2010 has been a momentous one for the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council. As we reflect on our past programs and accomplishments, our community supporters and most importantly the people and organizations we have had the pleasure of assisting and working with, I would first like to take the oppor- tunity to pay tribute and to reflect on the legacy of Donald Marshall Jr. His passing was an enormous loss not just for his family and the community of Membertou, but for the Mi’gmaq nation as well. He was a champion for ab- original and treaty rights.

Having the privilege of knowing Donald Jr., I know he would be happy to see the work we are embarking on. As we move forward with another year of opera- tions, Donald’s legacy should serve as an inspiration to all of us. Believe in what you do; practice what you believe; share your blessings with others; volunteer cheerfully; and be upbeat and positive. Together we are striving to make things better for our first nations communities.

We have maintained our focus in the last year. Re- cently our organization completed its 2-year strategic plan. Our Plan is a blueprint for future operations. It

outlines what we will be engaged in and where we want to be in the next two years. A copy of this plan has been forwarded to the DFO, this document as well as our completed internal evaluation document is available online.

To further assist us we also brought on a new chief ex- ecutive assistant, who is responsible for strengthening our infrastructure and works closely with the board of directors and our teams in legal, finance and impact assessment, and so on, to support our programs in our proposal submissions.

so on, to support our programs in our proposal submissions. Because we are a non-profit with

Because we are a non-profit with the Chiefs of our three member commu- nities as our only board mem- bers, we recognize the need for outside voices to help guide our strategies and stretch our think- ing. We have used advisors in the past, but early in the fiscal year we decided to propose a formal process which would strengthen our board, and recommended an advisory committee to work directly with the organization by giving us ex- pert counsel and critical advice. The advisory committee will play a significant role in making sure we are doing a good job of listening to diverse voices and learning from our mistakes.

The board approved the terms of reference for the Committee and we have begun discussions with po- tential members and creating an internal team to sup- port them. We plan to announce the members of the advisory panel this summer or early fall. Although some of the expert voices come from out

Although some of the expert voices come from out- side our organization, we are working hard to bring people in-house who can guide us on our core issues and help support our mission. We are taking great care to create the right jobs and then recruit people who can help us make real progress. Building internal ca- pacity through training and recruitment can be costly, however; in the long-term, the benefits will outweigh the initial costs.

It is a tall order to grow responsibly. Many of the proj- ects we involve ourselves with are difficult to address. It is a matter of record that our people once had a way and the means to live in harmony with nature. Our people also had our own way of governing and our own form of government. Today we are essentially starting from zero and in some ways we are operating from a handicap in that we don’t always have the lati- tude or funding to do the things we would like. This creates a number of interesting challenges as you can imagine. Many of the problems we face defy simple solutions. That is one of the reasons, we as an organi- zation chose to address these challenges. Many of the solutions will not come overnight and will take years to overcome.

As an organization we are in an excellent position to take big risks, and we are willing to make changes when we learn new information. That is why we have been at the forefront in addressing many fisheries is- sues regarding the federal and provincial government by way of formal written responses. It is important to mention that we cannot solve resource management and environmental problems single-handedly. For one thing, our corporate resources are a “drop in the buck- et,” compared to what is really needed.

Clearly, government support is critical for our long- term success. But government cannot do it alone and we should not continue to expect it. It will take wide- spread public will and creative collaboration across all sectors public, private, and nonprofit to find solu- tions to many of the issues and problems within our territory. We all have to take some responsibility for these issues and we need to commit to solving them together. Playing the blame game does little in mov-

ing our agenda forward. However, I am optimistic because we’re already seeing some progress tak- ing place. Seeing more of our youth take interest in the environment is good beginning.

This is truly an exciting time in history. So much is going on and the potential to make positive impacts in our communities is achievable. I can think of nothing more important than standing up for our rights while protecting Mother Earth. The more deeply I become involved with the funda- mental issues facing us, the more I see what is possible, and the more I want to do. With more and more of our natural resources being depleted we simply cannot wait for others to do what we have been granted by the Creator to do.

others to do what we have been granted by the Creator to do. Mark J. Sark,
others to do what we have been granted by the Creator to do. Mark J. Sark,

Mark J. Sark, CEO Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council

Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council wins National Award

O n October 8, 2009, the Council for the Advance- ment of Native Development Officers (CANDO)

held the nationally recognized Economic Developer of the Year Awards at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alberta. The Award ceremony was held in conjunction with the CANDO 16 th Annual Con- ference and General meeting. In recognition of the outstanding achievement and contri- butions of Aboriginal business in the Canadian economy, CANDO pres- ents three awards each year in the following categories: Individual Economic Developer, Com- munity Economic Developer and Aboriginal Private Sector Business Award. This past year Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Re- source Council was presented with the 2009 Aboriginal Private Sector Business Award, during the national awards ceremony.

In making the announcement, Alfred Loon, President and Board of Director of CANDO stated, “GMRC has worked hard to grow its business in Northern New Brunswick and in the Quebec region,” and further, “We are grateful for the work that GMRC is currently doing by bringing about awareness on the importance of taking care of Mother Earth, while pro- viding employment opportunities for First Nations.”

“CANDO is one of the pre-eminent First Nation orga- nizations supporting economic development in Can-

ada and I am greatly honored to receive this award,” stated Sark. “While this honor recognizes the qual- ity of work done by the organization in supporting our Mi’gmaq communities within the region,” add- ing, “real credit belongs to the members of staff who come to work each and every day giving it their all. It is their contributions that have helped shape GMRC into the dynamic company it is today.”

Since 1995, CANDO has been hosting the Economic Devel- oper of the Year Awards to recognize and promote recent or long-standing Aboriginal economic development initia- tives throughout Canada in the following three categories: In- dividual Economic Developer, Community Economic Developer and Aboriginal Private Business Sec- tor. They also present an award of rec- ognition to each runner-up. In previous years it was the tradition of CANDO to award the Economic Developer of the Year Award, and three Recognition Award Winners. In 2002 a new category was intro- duced, the Individual Economic Developer of the Year and in 2008 another category was added Aborig- inal Private Sector Business. For more information on CANDO visit www.edo.ca

2008 another category was added Aborig - inal Private Sector Business. For more information on CANDO

National Chief visits GMRC

O n November 19, 2009 the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn A-in-chut At-

leo made a brief stop to our office in Listuguj. During

his visit the National Chief was given an overview of our organization. This was followed by a presentation of an official GMRC hooded sweatshirt and a hand made cedar feather box. This was a great honour for our organization and we would like to thank Chief and Council of Listuguj First Nation for inviting the Na- tional Chief to our community.

Aside from being the National Chief Shawn A-in- chut Atleo is a Hereditary Chief from the Ahousaht First Nation. Shawn is supported by his wife Nancy and their 2 adult children, Tyson and Tara. Traditional teachings guided A-in-chut to serve First Nations as a leader, negotiator, facilitator, mediator, strategic plan- ner, and president of his family-owned private post secondary training institute.

Shawn graduated in 2003 with a Masters of Education in Adult Learning and Global Change from the Uni- versity of Technology, Sydney Australia (in partner-

Uni - versity of Technology, Sydney Australia (in partner - A sign of respect between two

A sign of respect between two chiefs

GMRC Board member Chief Everett Martin of the Eel River Bar First Nation extending hand of friendship to National Chief upon his visit to GMRC headquarters.

ship with University of British Columbia, University of the Western Cape South Africa, and University of Linkoping Sweden).

A-in-chut is a founding member of the BC First Na- tions Leadership Council. The council was formed when the Regional Chief, along with the political executive of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and First Nations Summit, signed a historic Leadership Accord in March 2005, overcoming decades of dis- cord in BC. This Accord calls on all three organiza- tions to work together to protect the interests of First Nations in BC and to ensure that Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights are recognized, accommo- dated and reconciled through government-to-govern- ment relationships.

and Treaty Rights are recognized, accommo - dated and reconciled through government-to-govern - ment relationships. 5

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It is important for GMRC to continue to seek guidance and knowledge from our Elders.

It is important for GMRC to continue to seek guidance and knowledge from our Elders. In doing so strengthens the relationships with our communities and also within them.

Honouring our Elders

I n January, GMRC held an Elders Gathering in which well over 40 Elders and community mem- bers participated. The purpose of the Gathering

was twofold. First to share information with them regarding Salmon research that we had undertaken, which incorporated Aboriginal Traditional Knowl-

edge (ATK) and Aboriginal Ecological Knowledge (AEK) and secondly, we wanted to honour our Elders

by taking the time to listen to their concerns regarding

their role in the community.

A dinner was held in the evening to honour three

Elders from our community: Robert Brisk, Isaac

“Ike” Metallic and Lilly Vicaire, who assisted GMRC

in their research by participating in Elder interviews.

Their participation was invaluable, as it offered us the opportunity to preserve, protect and sustain local knowledge.

It was pointed out at the beginning of the gathering

that GMRC recognizes and values Elders, Fishers and Woodsmen knowledge as a rich environmental re- source, which is at risk of becoming ‘extinct’ if proper measures are not taken to protect, preserve and sustain it. The participation and sharing that occurred rein- forced our organizations belief that there is significant potential for reciprocal learning when Elders and

others come to- gether to share the knowledge and wisdom.

Participants were invited to feel free to come to the GMRC build- ing and meet with research staff and management at any time to voice their concerns or just to visit.

The Elders Gath-

ering has laid the groundwork for an active and informed Elders Advi- sory Council, which will serve to bridge the gap be- tween community and our scientific research by pro- viding information and advice related to ATK.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the Elders, Gji Geptin Andrew Denny and Geptin Fred Metallic of Listuguj for their participation.

Geptin Fred Metallic of Listuguj for their participation. Elders’ Gathering report available online @

Elders’ Gathering report available online @ migmaqresource.org

Elders contribute a sense of harmony and well-being to our Nation

contribute a sense of harmony and well-being to our Nation The role of Elders has become
contribute a sense of harmony and well-being to our Nation The role of Elders has become

The role of Elders has become increas- ingly meaningful in our communities, especially for those communities who are losing their language and culture. Elders are important for their symbolic connec- tion to the past, and for their knowledge of traditional ways, teachings, stories and ceremonies. It was very common for re- spected Elders to be called upon to help with major decisions regarding our com- munities.

Unique way of telling a story

Unique way of telling a story through certain areas of Gespe’gewa’gi. This new tool is an
through certain areas of Gespe’gewa’gi.
through certain areas of Gespe’gewa’gi.

This new tool is an example of how GMRC adds val- ue to their approach to resource management through the incorporation of traditional knowledge and a focus on raising awareness and educating the public on en- vironmental issues.

“We strongly believe that passing traditional knowl- edge from the elders to our youth is key to strengthen- ing the Mi’gmaq culture and ensuring its survival,” says Victoria Metallic, GMRC’s Environment Man- ager. She adds, “With this unique approach, we are providing information about what we’ve learned from our elders, and at the same time transferring that knowledge to our youth.”

the same time transferring that knowledge to our youth.” Download an electronic copy of the photo

Download an electronic copy of the photo novel on GMRC’s website at http://www.migmaqresource.org. You can also find other exclusive content on GMRC’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/Migmaq.

L ast summer we began research on the American eel. The purpose of the research is to gather infor-

mation on the number of elvers (young eel) traveling

During the early stages of the project Janine Metal- lic, a PhD candidate in Educational Studies at McGill, was asked to share some of her knowledge on research methods relating to indigenous ways of knowing. Ja- nine was born and raised in Listuguj and occasionally consults GMRC on various research projects. One of the ideas she presented to the staff was the use of a photo novel as a unique way of telling stories and sharing information.

Photo novels are like comic books, but pictures of real people in real settings are used along with caption bubbles and text. So far the concept has been well re- ceived by the youth and older generations as well. An early copy of the photo novel was shown to a group of grade 5 students. Craig Isaac, who assisted on the project and features in the photo novel, recalls one of the kids saying, “Wow, I really like the pictures! Can I keep it?”

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and features in the photo novel, recalls one of the kids saying, “Wow, I really like

Elver project

F or thousands of years, the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq lived in tune with the land. Today, we continue

to share relations with many aspects of the environ- ment. These relations can be seen through our diet, our tools, our clothing, and our ceremonies. One particular relation of interest is with ga’t, a once abundant traditional food.

Over the years, many traditional foods have remained prominent in our diet, such as the plamu, however, we have been made aware that there has been

a decline in the number of community members who

fish ga’t. The reasons for this are varied, but when speaking with community members, their main reason for the decline in fishing was attributed to concerns for the environment, which in turn affected their diets, and further contributed to the eel fishing tradition not being passed down. We believe that revitalizing our relationship with ga’t will not only enhance our own

well-being, it will also enhance our understanding of the fish.

It is this history, relationship, and health concern for

the eel that the GMRC took the lead to develop the

project “Estimating Relative Abundance of Juvenile American Eel (Elvers) in Gespe’gewa’gi”.

In consultation with our elders and other resource users, we were informed of the best possible places where elvers can be found. Forty-one (41) elvers were found in total in the Pabineau Falls, Eel River, and Restigouche River. This elver project also allowed elders to share with us their stories, experiences, and knowledge about ga’t; learning that ga’t was a valued food source, source of medicine, and ceremonial being.

By monitoring and building an inventory of the elvers found within our estuaries, and combining that information with our Mi’gmaq knowledge and under- standings, we can begin laying the groundwork for future work directed at reinvigorating a Mi’gmaq way of living in a modern society while helping to rebuild a valuable resource for our communities.

PLAMU project

J ust like the eel, the salmon has been part of our lives for thousands of years. The first phase of “Impacts on Mi’gmaq traditional food from environmental ex- posure in the Restigouche River” began in May 2008 and concluded in March 2009 with more questions and more insights than we had originally anticipated.

In 2008, the primary area of interest was to determine whether the consumption of Restigouche River salm- on should be limited due to dioxin and furan releases

from surrounding industrial facilities. The second area of interest was to determine if the potential pres- ence of contaminants in wild Atlantic salmon affected the communities desire to consume the traditional food. About half of all participants surveyed believed salmon is being affected by contaminants in the environment, close to 90% of participants continued to consume salmon from the Restigouche River. This sparked further investigation into the relationship between the salmon and the people. So began phase

II.

This time around, in addition to collecting samples, the research team took an active role in learning what it means to fish.

What was learned was that salmon and salmon fishing is so intricately woven into who we are as a people. When someone fishes, one gets a sense of respon- sibility, accomplishment, productivity, respect, companionship and knowledge, providing for the basic foundation for the development of a healthy community.

Regarding our physical health, our technical analy- sis revealed the presence of contaminants, however, salmon alone will not cause any adverse effects to your health. In fact, in many studies, the positive effects of consuming traditional food in your diet, in a relatively healthy environment, outweigh any risks.

Although it is always important to advocate for healthy rivers and habitats, it is just as important to advocate for a healthy relationship between the salmon and our people because continuing to fish for salmon, and continuing to include salmon in our diet, can effec- tively promote a sustainable relationship between us and the plamu.

Netugulimg

Culture andYou

“Preserving, strengthening or renewing cultural and or spiritual practice beliefs and values associated with Netugulimgewel is a key in developing successful resource management.”

P erhaps one of the most important principles governing our relationship with Mother Earth is “Netugulimg.” Mi’gmaq have al- ways maintained a special relationship with

the land. A relationship based on needs and values extending back literally thousands of years. Existing “Peace and Friendship” treaties acknowledges this right.

Mi’gmaq and the land embodies the essence of our intimate sacred order. Unfortunately this order was disrupted with the arrival of the first Europeans. One of the things GMRC will be doing over the course of the next number of months will be to look more closely at Netugulimg. We are at an important time in our history as First Nations and the value of Indig- enous resource management practices are only now beginning to be respected.

While our relationship with Mother Earth has been altered we are nevertheless moving forward in re- connecting by developing new strategies, which will allow our people to have a greater voice in how our resources are managed within our traditional territo- ries. The relationship between our people and the land embodies a scared relationship that still exists even if it’s difficult to observe at times.

While work has begun in developing a more compre- hensive understanding of Netugulimgewel, we have

only started the journey in reconnecting and reedu- cating ourselves on its value. Of course this will take time and effort but we are committed in making a dif- ference in how we do things.

Some of the actions we will be taking in 2010- 2011 are:

Engage resource users, knowledge holders and elders on activities associated with Netugu- limg;

Increase programing with our communities’ youth by using fishing, hunting and forestry re- lated activities as a means of teaching;

Assist in developing comprehensive resource management plans, which communities could adopt apart from current federal or provincial plans currently being followed; and

Increase access to and sharing of cultural cus- toms and beliefs through the use of Netugu- limgewel, as a means of reviving and preserving our scared link between Mi’gmaq and Mother Earth.

Meet the Staff

Craig Isaac

Project Assistant

I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with a

proud and successful organization such as GMRC.

Gwe’, ni’n teluisi Craig Isaac. Wigi aq tleiewi Listugujg. Nugumijaq teluisipnaq Mabel Isaac aq Nmijgamijaq teluisipnaq Michael Isaac Sr. ‘Ngij teluisit Lynn Isaac. ‘Njignam teluisit Raymond Ward. ‘Ntus teluisit Lashawnee Isaac-Myo. Lashawnee nanipuna’t. Etllugwei GMRC suel newtipunqeg.

I am the grandson of the late Mabel Isaac and Mi- chael Isaac Sr. I am the son of Lynn Isaac and the

brother of Raymond Ward. I am also the proud father my beautiful 5 year old daughter Lashawnee Isaac- Myo. I have been working here at GMRC for almost

a year now.

I am the Project Assistant here at GMRC. I do a lot of

work out in the field. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with such a proud and

successful organization such as GMRC. Within my first year I have learned a lot. It was my first summer in my life that I went fishing. Learning to set nets and gut and clean salmon is something I have never done before. Also working with the youth on our moose hunt project was a great experience due to the fact that just like them I too was learning about our hunt- ing and fishing traditions.

During the winter and spring I had been working with our communications/quality assurance coordinator John Murvin Vicaire. He and I have been working hard to keep our facebook and twitter pages a success. I also had the opportunity to attend meetings and workshops this past month which was a great learning experience. I am looking forward to what lies ahead in the future. Everyday is a learning experience.

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Victoria Metallic Environment Manager “ If we are to truly make positive changes for the
Victoria Metallic Environment Manager “ If we are to truly make positive changes for the

Victoria Metallic

Environment Manager

Victoria Metallic Environment Manager “ If we are to truly make positive changes for the environment,

If we are to truly make positive changes for the environment, we

could consider taking a more Mi’gmaq approach.

A part from taking personal responsibility to respect the land, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take

what I’ve learned and to turn it into a profession. It’s been

3 years since I started working for GMRC, but what I’ve learned will no doubt last me a lifetime.

It’s been an honor to work with our youth, to learn from our elders, and to develop research projects that support the transfer of Mi’gmaq knowledge between the two. Spending days on the river, learning about the salmon and eel, and hearing our language has indefinitely shaped my views and continues to lay the foundation for me to develop projects that help enhance our relationship with the resources.

As the seasons have gone by, I’ve learned that enhanc- ing our resources goes beyond maintaining restocking programs. Enhancing our resources means enhancing our relationship with it, making use of our knowledge, our language and our culture. This approach is definitely different from the standard resource management practices, but what we are seeing is that the standard resource management planning isn’t working and that it may be time for a re-evaluation.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say that this continues to strengthen my belief that if we are to truly make positive changes for the environment, we could consider taking a more Mi’gmaq approach; allowing the cycles of the land to govern our use of the resources.

On a recent trip to Cape Breton to examine eels, we were asked what were we doing out to late, and we replied light- heartedly, “We have to follow the cycle of the eels”. But it is true; we cannot tell the eel or salmon to meet us Wednes- day at noon, nor is it easy to tell them when and where to grow.

We have a summer filled with salmon and eel fishing, sam- pling, and monitoring so that we can better understand how we can live in harmony with the land. I anticipate this year to be even more fun and exciting than the last. There is nothing more rewarding than having our hunters, fishers, and caretakers sharing their knowledge with us.

Tasha Metallic Research Associate “ I have learned the importance of Aboriginal Traditional & Ecological

Tasha Metallic

Research Associate

Tasha Metallic Research Associate “ I have learned the importance of Aboriginal Traditional & Ecological Knowledge

I have learned the importance of Aboriginal Traditional & Ecological

Knowledge and that as an Indigenous person we relate to our local

ecosystems.

A s my first year working with GMRC is almost done, I can say with the utmost confidence that it

is one of the most rewarding, exhilarating, and chal- lenging jobs I have ever had. This is truly a unique organization here in Listuguj, and we should all take pride in knowing that we have an organization in our community that is an excellent leader in environmen- tal issues, that listens to its people and takes strides to implement such actions.

As a biologist, I was taught in University that science has to be concrete and measurable. Since I started working at GMRC I have learned the importance of Aboriginal Traditional & Ecological Knowledge and that as an Indigenous person we relate to our local ecosystems. ATK knowledge, practices and beliefs have been handed down from generation to genera- tion. These two knowledge systems combined have been termed “Two-eyed Seeing” by a prominent Mi’gmaq Elder. Two-eyed Seeing is now embedded

into my everyday workday and is strongly interwoven in GMRC’s research so that we can make a stronger impact to science, government and our own Mi’gmaq people.

I am excited this year because we will be taking on several projects and working more closely with the youth in the community. We will be working once again with the salmon and a new project that involves the American eel. The youth is where is all begins. They are our future leaders.

And so, I look forward to another eventful and excit- ing new challenges this year with GMRC!

We’lalioq

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Anne Gladue-Buffalo Chief Executive Assistant “ The organization continually strives to educate their peers, govern
Anne Gladue-Buffalo Chief Executive Assistant “ The organization continually strives to educate their peers, govern

Anne Gladue-Buffalo

Chief Executive Assistant

Anne Gladue-Buffalo Chief Executive Assistant “ The organization continually strives to educate their peers, govern -

The organization continually strives to educate their peers, govern-

ment, industry and the community of the importance of recognizing

this knowledge and protecting indigenous rights to these resources.

Tansi,

M y name is Ann Gladue-Buffalo. My family and I have travelled here from Samson Cree Nation,

in the Maskwacis Territory, or what is more common-

ly referred to as Hobbema, AB.

I have always been drawn to working in the environ- mental sector and as I am very process and detail-ori- entated, I was so thrilled to come across a position with a first nation environmental organization with ISO certification. I was honoured to have been cho- sen for the position of Chief Executive Assistant and I joined the GMRC team August 2009.

It has been very rewarding experience to work with an organization that actively incorporates the use of in- digenous knowledge and practices into their scientific research, promotes environmental awareness and lo- cal resource management practices. The organization

continually strives to educate their peers, government, industry and the community of the importance of rec- ognizing this knowledge and protecting indigenous rights to these resources.

I have really enjoyed working with the board of direc- tors, management and staff, and have gained valuable experience in the operation of a non-profit, and insight into fisheries issues, Mi’gmaq rights and responsibili- ties as well as the policies of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. I hope I have been able to add value to the organization and contribute to its continued success.

On behalf of my family I would like to thank all those who have showered us with Mi’gmaq hospitality and continue to welcome us into the community.

Leslie Mitchell Finance Clerk “ A team that prides itself on taking up the challenge

Leslie Mitchell

Finance Clerk

Leslie Mitchell Finance Clerk “ A team that prides itself on taking up the challenge of

A team that prides itself on taking up the challenge of looking out for

our natural resources within Gespe’gewa’gi.

H ello my name Leslie Mitchell. I am a proud Mi’gmaq mother, daughter, sister, auntie and

niece. I love my extended family, which includes the beautiful community of Listuguj, where I was born and raised. I believe in life long learning, learning from our elders, and continuing to build upon my aca- demic achievements.

I joined the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council in the spring of 2008, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to use my knowledge, skills, and experi- ence in office administration and to integrate myself into the team that prides itself on taking up the chal- lenge of looking out for our natural resources within Gespe’gewagi.

The past year I have been training in basic bookkeep- ing practices and look forward to developing my skills in this area. I believe that in some small way, we can each contribute to the overall communities’ self-suffi- ciency by doing the best job that we can.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest addition Ann Gladue-Buffalo to the GMRC family. It is my honor to have the opportunity to work with Ann. She has much to offer our organization. Listuguj welcomes you, Ann.

my honor to have the opportunity to work with Ann. She has much to offer our

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Brian Isaac Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator “ Working with GMRC has allowed me to gain
Brian Isaac Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator “ Working with GMRC has allowed me to gain

Brian Isaac

Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator

Working with GMRC has allowed me to gain experience and valuable

knowledge in the commercial fishing industry.

H i my name is Brian Isaac and for the past year and a half I have been fortunate to be one of GMRC’s

team members. In this short period as the Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator it has been both exciting and challenging to work and represent the First Nation communities of Pabineau, Eel River Bar and Listuguj in the commercial fisheries. This opportunity has al- lowed me to gain experience and valuable knowledge in the commercial fishing industry.

In the last year we have experienced a number chal- lenges such as the collapse of the Lobster industry and a decline of some species like snow crab. Not only does this threaten our participation in commercial fish- eries but future generations as well. Our licenses are communal so any disruption in fisheries has a greater impact to our communities. Coming from a back- ground of strong beliefs of our right to these resources passed on to me by my late father “Michael Isaac Sr.”, has strengthened my belief of our need to become ever more involved in the management of these resources.

However with every right comes great responsibili- ties. To meet this responsibility a working group has been established and is currently working towards a First Nation management plan starting with the Lob- ster fishery. If successful it will become a template for other commercial fishery initiatives of co-manage- ment.

Since the Supreme Court of Canada’s monumental decision on Marshall our participation in the commer- cial fishery industry has grown such that the oppor- tunity for our communities to begin moving towards sustainable resource management is here and we must seize the moment. With the determination of organi- zation like GMRC and its dedicated staff this can be accomplished.

Thank you and I look forward to another year at GMRC to serve our communities in working towards sustainable resource management.

John Murvin Vicaire Communications/Quality Assurance “ Now that the foundation is solid, things are beginning
John Murvin Vicaire Communications/Quality Assurance “ Now that the foundation is solid, things are beginning

John Murvin Vicaire

Communications/Quality Assurance

Now that the foundation is solid, things are beginning to happen

much more quickly.

I t’s been almost four years now that I’ve been work- ing with the GMRC team and I can already see the changes happening, within our communities, in this short period of time.

In the beginning most of the work centered around creating and building an organization. Now that the foundation is solid, things are beginning to happen much more quickly.

Someone recently asked how working with the people at GMRC has influenced me. What immediately came to mind was, “what if things were different and I never had to opportunity to work here?”

There would have been many missed opportunities and I am almost certain that I would not have been able to develop the skills and the experience for what I am passionate about. Nature and Imagery.

So quite simply, I feel forever indebted to this organi- zation and the people I work with for sharing their lives

with me and allowing me to assist them in achieving the organization’s mission and vision for our people.

We have a lot of work ahead of us as a community and as the Mi’gmaq Nation. It important to know that GMRC is working hard to better our situation with the management of the natural resources in our dis- trict Gespe’gewa’gi.

All too often governments ignore the Mi’gmaq people. Well we’re here to shout loud and clear that we are here, and will once again fulfill our roles in taking care of Mother Earth.

19

Tia’mugwet 2009 Youth Initiative T he vision of the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Re - source Council

Tia’mugwet 2009

Youth Initiative

T he vision of the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Re-

source Council is to assist First Nation

communities within the traditional district of

Gespe’gewa’gi, by creating awareness and under- standing and gathering support to further sustainable natural resource management. This is the spirit of ‘Netugulimg’ and the sacred relationship that exists between the Mi’gmaq and our natural world.

We see a future where we can work together, manage our resources and have a greater say in how they are managed, while at the same time build cultural bridg- es with the common goal of effective natural resource management practices.

We believe that youth represent the future of our na- tive communities, and that their health and well-being determines the future health of our communities. By investing in our youth and giving them a sense of place and tradition a community ensures it has bright and capable leaders.

One of the most important principles governing the Mi’gmaq relationship with hunting and fishing is “Netugulimg.” Netugulimg is the process of supply-

ing oneself or making a livelihood from the land, and “Netugulimgewel” refers to the applicable rules or standards. It is through the use of Netugulimgewel that we embarked on a youth sponsored moose hunt- ing activity in the fall of 2009.

To accomplish our objective, we focused our resourc- es on projects that work specifically with youth, and incorporate culture and tradition to address social is- sues such as drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnan- cy, mental health or other social issues. We wish to engage more of our youth in the future by using the principles relating to Netugulimgewel on these key priority areas:

• Preserving, strengthening or renewing cultural and/or spiritual practices, beliefs and values as- sociated with Netugulimgewel;

• Engage youth, resource users and elders in activi- ties within Netugulimg that demonstrate positive approaches towards obtaining traditional knowl- edge, practices, beliefs, values and culturally ap- propriate harvesting activities;

• Increase youth leadership and their capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentor- ing programs using hunting and fishing activi- ties as a means of teaching; and

• Increase access to and sharing of cultural cus- toms and beliefs through the use of Netugulimg- wel, as a means of reviving or preserving our scared link between with Mother Earth.

SOME INTERESTING MOOSE FACTS

link between with Mother Earth. SOME INTERESTING MOOSE FACTS The moose is the largest member of

The moose is the largest member of the deer family currently roaming the planet. Moose eat willow, birch and aspen twigs, horsetail, sedges, roots, pond weeds and grasses.

Moose eat leaves, twigs, buds and the bark of some woody plants, as well as lichens, aquatic plants and some of the taller herbaceous land plants. Moose can actually feed under water.

Cow moose have been known to live for as long as 20 years. Bull moose may reach 15 years of age.

While a male may use its antlers to hold off a preda- tor, a moose’s sharp hooves are its first line of defense. Moose are able to kick out in all directions, but gener- ally use their front feet.

A moose’s long legs allow it to move easily over rough terrain and through deep snow. A moose can run almost as fast as a horse, or about 30 miles per hour for a short time period.

Moose also have a beard like a flap under their chin called a dewlap or bell, male moose have large antlers that are shaped like scoops that can measure 60” or better tip to tip and can weigh in excess of 70 pounds. A full grown moose can weigh up to 1,800 pounds and stand 7 feet tall at the shoulder, making moose one of the northern hemispheres largest land dwelling mammals.

of the northern hemispheres largest land dwelling mammals. Living in harmony and sharing “the spirit” of

Living in harmony and sharing “the spirit” of the moose

This past fall GMRC was able to distribute 3 adult moose to the communities of Eel River Bar, Listuguj and Pabineau First Nations. Additional moose meat was donated to the Christ- mas Daddies in Listuguj for community distribution.

Good Times That was a nice shot Cago! I said hold the rope and stop
Good Times
That was a nice
shot Cago!
I said hold the rope and
stop *!$#@% around, this
place isn’t for clowns.
Hey this is a lot
of work!
This isn’t like Xbox eh boys?
When you kill something on
TV you don’t have to clean
it!
Work?! What’s
that? I’m only 15
yrs old!
I can almost taste
the meat now.

Social Media and You

“As we move forward with our growth, we are leaving nothing to chance.”

with our growth, we are leaving nothing to chance.” The positive im - pact that social

The positive im- pact that social media can have on businesses is just beginning to be realized. Social me- dia uses web-based technologies to trans- form and broadcast mono- logues into social media dialogues. Their use supports GMRC’s continued efforts by keeping community members in- formed on what we are doing. It also allows us to share knowledge and infor- mation at real-time.

As social media continues to grow, the ability to reach more people is also increased. GMRC

sees social media as a new “tool” for effective business marketing and future sales for our services. Currently we are using 4 popular networking sites; Facebook, Youtube, Google Buzz, and Twitter. This past year we also invest- ed in updating our website which now allows us to share even more information about our services and what we are up to.

We believe that social media is a driv- ing force in defining our services and let- ting others know what we are doing.

our services and let - ting others know what we are doing. facebook.com/Migmaq twitter.com/Migmaqresource

facebook.com/Migmaq

- ting others know what we are doing. facebook.com/Migmaq twitter.com/Migmaqresource youtube.com/Migmaqresource

twitter.com/Migmaqresource

we are doing. facebook.com/Migmaq twitter.com/Migmaqresource youtube.com/Migmaqresource

youtube.com/Migmaqresource

are doing. facebook.com/Migmaq twitter.com/Migmaqresource youtube.com/Migmaqresource google.com/profiles/Migmaqresource 23

google.com/profiles/Migmaqresource

ÒO ur youth are our future. They must be prepared to accept the challenges the

ÒO ur youth are our future. They must be prepared to accept the challenges the future holds.Ó

Margaret LaBillois Scholarship Fund

Margaret LaBillois Scholarship Fund About Margaret LaBillois Margaret LaBillois has always been and will always be

About Margaret LaBillois

Margaret LaBillois has always been and will always be a true Mi’gmaq leader. In 1970, she was elected the Chief of Eel River Bar, becoming the first female Chief in New Brunswick.

In recognition of her leadership quali- ties and significant contribution to sustaining Mi’gmaq traditional skills and practice, Margaret was awarded the Order of Canada in 1998 and in 2005 the province of New Brunswick awarded her the Order of New Bruns- wick. Her leadership path had begun many years before in 1939 when she became the first person to graduate from high school in Eel River Bar. She went on to serve our country in World War II as a nurse in the RCAF.

All of her life Margaret has shown her commitment to the value of education both traditional and western, and in 1982, she graduated from Lakehead University with an Honours Degree in Native Languages.

In honour of the our esteemed and re- spected Elder Margaret LaBillois and recognition of our greatest asset ‘Our People’, the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council (GMRC) has estab- lished the Margaret LaBillois Educa- tion Policy.

ISO Certification for Quality Management

Gespe'gewaq Mi'gmaq Resource Council maintains its Certification for Quality Management Systems and is now ISO

9001:2008

for Quality Management Systems and is now ISO 9001:2008 As an organization we are always working

As an organization we are always working towards build- ing a better way of doing business. Our communities and our respective clients expect this. One of the competitive advantages we have over the competition apart from sur- rounding ourselves with quality people is our attention to management.

The Quality Management System developed within the GMRC is process driven, and emphasizes the importance of understanding and meeting customer requirements; the need to consider processes in terms of added value; ob- taining results of process performance and effectiveness, and; continual improvement of processes based on objec- tive measurement.

The benefit to our community members, clients, stake- holders and partners is the assurance of the continual im- provement of the organization’s overall performance and efficiency, as well as its effectiveness. In 2009 GMRC once again maintained its ISO certification.

Charlo Fish Hatchery

I n April of 2009 the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Re- source Council and the Charlo Salmonid En-

hancement Centre Inc. (CSEC) announced that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to strengthen their commitment on the preservation of the Atlantic salmon in the Restigouche region.

Wishing to build on our continued success working in the field of aquatic resource and oceans manage- ment, our goal is two fold. First, create employment opportunities for our community members and sec- ondly promote awareness on the importance of sound stewardship practices through enhancement related activities.

Both the GMRC and the CSEC intend to work togeth- er on various projects associated with conservation of salmon resources in various watersheds, as well as, help each other by building capacity and finding other potential opportunities for the fish hatchery. While in the primary stages at this point, they may also take a look other markets and perhaps rearing other species besides salmon and trout.

This partnership further demonstrates that GMRC is always planning for its future and how to get more

people interested in aquatic and resource manage- ment. This joint co-operation serves as an example of the success that can be achieved by working closely together and by building strategic partners,” said Chief Everett Martin of the Eel River Bar First Nation.

We see ourselves as having more of a significant role to play in how the resources are managed in this terri- tory, and we must be willing to take a more proactive approach by ensuring there are resources for future generations. It’s in our best interests to work collab- oratively if possible.

there are resources for future generations. It’s in our best interests to work collab - oratively

Honoring Donald Marshall Jr.

H e was a friend to anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He was a true ambassador of Mi’gmaq Rights. He was

a Mi’gmaq leader, who put his peoples needs before his own. He

had the skills of a true leader, a hunter, an avid fisherman, and was

a gifted speaker. He was kind, humble, concerned, and always had

the time to talk to people. He had compassion for humankind and was a good friend to many. He had a great sense of humor evident through the twinkle in his eye and heartfelt laughter.

Junior fought many battles in his life. An inquiry into his wrongful conviction created a basis for others in the country to find justice for wrongful imprisonments. The recommendations from the report on the inquiry has changed the course of the Nova Sco- tia justice system and created a somewhat better system for those who are marginalized and discriminated against in our society due to their race.

After settling into a life of new-found freedom after being impris- oned for 11 years, Junior went fishing and was arrested for fishing eels out of season. This was the beginning of a legal battle that would eventually see the Supreme Court of Canada Decision af- firm our rights as members of the Mi’gmaq Nation, and members of Mi’gmaq First Nation Allies, to hunt and fish as we did prior to European invasion. In 1999 this decision sparked a major battle between the Mi’gmaq, non-native fisherman, and the Canadian government.

Junior’s greatest battle was for his own life, as he endured a dou- ble lung transplant several years ago. In spite of his failing health, Junior continued to work within the communities, especially with youth to create better lives for our people. He had run a youth sur- vival camp for many years because he believed in helping youth find positive directions in their lives.

To those of us who knew him and believed in him, he will be sadly missed. To his mother and family, thank you for sharing your son with the world, especially with the Mi’gmaq Nation.

missed. To his mother and family, thank you for sharing your son with the world, especially

Financials

Financials 29
Financials 29

GESPE’GEWAQ MI’GMAQ RESOURCE COUNCIL INC. Balance Sheet as of March 31, 2010

GESPE’GEWAQ MI’GMAQ RESOURCE COUNCIL INC. Balance Sheet as of March 31, 2010 30

GESPE’GEWAQ MI’GMAQ RESOURCE COUNCIL INC. Combined Statement of Revenue and Expenditures For the Year Ended March 31, 2010

MI’GMAQ RESOURCE COUNCIL INC. Combined Statement of Revenue and Expenditures For the Year Ended March 31,
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