The Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band (Qalipu) and the Miawpukek First Nation (MFN) have come together under the protocols of the Aboriginal Aquatic Resource & Oceans Management (AAROM) program to form the Mi’kmaq Alsumk Mowimsikik Koqoey Association (MAMKA).
The goals of the AAROM Program are to help Aboriginal groups to participate effectively in multi-stakeholder and other advisory & decision-making processes used for aquatic resources and oceans management.
The program was developed to respond to a number of issues that were identified during discussions on the renewal of the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy program:
- Aboriginal groups are seeking greater participation in decision-making processes used for aquatic resource and oceans management;
- The Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) expanding responsibilities require engaging with Aboriginal groups on a broad range of issues, including oceans management, habitat management and planning, environmental assessment and species at risk; and,
- Existing Aboriginal programming is focused on fisheries management, limiting the department’s ability to respond effectively to the evolving aspirations of Aboriginal people.
Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The main objectives of the AAROM program are:
- to assist Aboriginal groups in acquiring the administrative capacity and scientific/technical expertise to facilitate their participation in aquatic resource and oceans management;
- to encourage the establishment of collaborative management structures that contribute to integrated ecosystem/watershed management and planning processes;
- to enhance existing collaborative management structures, where appropriate;
- to facilitate sound decision-making in advisory and other processes related to a number of areas of DFO responsibility;
- to strengthen relationships through improved information-sharing between Aboriginal communities, DFO and other stakeholders and among Aboriginal communities; and,
- to contribute to the federal government’s broader objective of improving the quality of life of Aboriginal people.
Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The following delineates the role and responsibilities of the joint AAROM structure serving Qalipu and the MFN:
- To provide advice, coordination and information management assistance to Qalipu and the MFN in areas of aquatic management;
- To assist member organizations in building capacity in the area of aquatic management;
- To assist member organizations in participating in the aquatic management and advisory process as aforementioned and to act as a conduit in parlaying the results of such processes to member communities;
- To assist member organizations in playing an active role in key areas of fisheries management;
- To facilitate greater aboriginal participation in multilateral decision-making and advisory processes that involve fishers, scientists, industry representatives, conservation groups, DFO officials, and other government departments;
- To assist in strengthening and complementing the existing relationship between member organizations and DFO
- To communicate via various media outlets the activity and undertakings of member organizations in the area of aquatic management;
- To indirectly assist in the broader government and member organizations’ objective of improving the socio-economic situation of aboriginal peoples;
- To provide technical and advisory assistance were possible to member organizations in the planning, development, and implementation of aquatic management projects and undertakings; and,
- To raise the awareness of aquatic resource management issues and concerns with the Aboriginal youth through youth initiatives, which serves to better inform the youth and to encourage their participation and input.
MAMKA Board Of Directors:
Brendan Mitchell – Co-Chair (Qalipu)
Misel Joe – Co-Chair (MFN)
Francis Skeard – Board Member (Qalipu)
Calvin Francis – Board Member (Qalipu)
Harvey Drew – Board Member (MFN)
Ross Hinks – Board Member (MFN)
Shayne McDonald – Executive Director (MFN)
Annie Randall – Aquatic Policy and Planning Manager (Qalipu)
Joelene Drake – Aquatic Policy and Planning Manager (MFN)
Karen Tiller – Administrative Assistant (Qalipu)
Denise John – Administrative Assistant (MFN)
Jonathan Strickland – Manager, Aquatic Policy & Planning (Qalipu)