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First Nation fisheries conference in Owen Sound

Posted on behalf of Linda Thompson <thompson@osicom.net>

You are invited to Aambe Giigoonkewin Giigidodaa
The 1998 Nawash Fisheries Conference

Where? Georgian College in Owen Sound
When?  October 16-18, 1998
How Much? $50.00 registration before October 12, $80 after, elders no

A plenary with Dr. John Burrows will address the Delgamuukw decision and
how it affects First Nations in the east.

Workshops will include:
Adaptive Management in the Bruce — a  discussion of  issues affecting
the fisheries of the Bruce in the context of adaptive management.

Sharing the Nawash experience — a recounting of the history and struggle
for the Nawash fishery with special attention to sharing that experience
with other FNs peoples at the conference.

Definition of Conservation — an attempt to come up with a definition
that will meet the requirements of both Native and western ways of

Environmental Law — a practical workshop on the law and how it can be
used to protect the ecosystems of Grey-Bruce).

Also Planned:
Feast and Social, Saturday evening or take a bus to CasinoRama (no
charge with registration). Dance to the Glenelg Full Moon Country Dance
Band in the Georgian College Cafeteria (no charge with registration).
Information booths and vendors welcome and available throughout the

For more information on the Conference, contact:
Jemelda Johnston, Conference Coordinator at Nawash:
Phone:  519-534-5133
Fax: 519-534-2130
e-mail:  dibaudjimoh@bmts.com

In Owen Sound, contact Linda Thompson:
Phone: 519-371-0545
Fax: 519 371-0486
e-mail: thompson@osicom.net

Website:  http://www.bmts.com/~dibaudjimoh/

Some Background to the 1998 Nawash Fisheries Conference

In the mid-19th Century, the Chippewas of Nawash and the Chippewas of
Saugeen were squeezed out of their traditional fishing grounds by
European and American fishing fleets and by the policies of the Crown.
In 1993, Judge Fairgrieve of the Ontario General Division ruled that the
two First Nations have aboriginal and treaty rights to fish for trade
and commerce in their traditional waters around the Bruce Peninsula.

This ruling opened the door for greater participation in the fisheries
and their management by the Chippewas of Nawash. It has provided a
desperately needed source of income for families on the reserve and it
has introduced a Native perspective to the management of the Bruce

The Chippewas of Nawash held their first Fisheries Conference in 1995 in
Port Elgin. Those who attended that conference were impressed with the
commitment of the First Nation to the fish and to protecting the
ecosystems of the Bruce. Among the speakers at that conference were Dr.
Henry Regier, Dr. Mart Gross and Dr. Anne Zimmermen, noted biologists
from the University of Toronto. Their message was to beware of the
dangers of assuming scientists and governments can "manage" the complex
ecosystems such as the Great Lakes fisheries.

Also contributing were Ross Waukey and Winona Arriaga, elders from the
Chippewas of Nawash, and Greg Agawa, an elder from Batchewana First
Nation. They brought the same message and gave conference-goers a
glimpse of the wisdom of traditional environmental knowledge. Much of
what they said about fisheries reinforced what Ontario’s top scientists
are now saying.

Aambe Giigoonkewin Giigidodaa the 1998 Nawash Fisheries Conference will
build on the 1995 Conference. Wherever possible, traditional Native
wisdom about the fisheries will be paired with western science to
provide those who attend with a more complete picture of how we should
be looking after this valuable resource.

As much as possible, this conference will provide a forum for the
discussion of the concerns of everyone who has an interest in the future
health of the fisheries around the Bruce Peninsula. To that end,
sportsmen, government fisheries managers, Natives and non-Natives,
biologists are all being invited to gather in Owen Sound over the
weekend of October 16-18, 1998 to talk about fish.