The Mi’gmag have, since time immemorial, enjoyed a close relationship with the Atlantic salmon. Having navigated the waters throughout the traditional territory of the Mi’gmag long before European growth and sustainability of the social, cultural, and economic institutions of Mi’gmag communities throughout Atlantic Canada. The Mi’gmag assert that they have a right and carry the responsibility to promote, protect, and encourage a sustainable Atlantic salmon fishery, not only for today, but for the future generations.
As part of our commitment to the sustainable management of the natural resources of our land, the Pabineau First Nation has committed to the conservation of Atlantic salmon. After the environmental mining disaster at the Bathurst Mine of 1969, once abundant in Atlantic salmon and other fish species, the Little River was fished by the Oinpegitjoig Mi’gmag (presently known as the Pabineau First Nation) and other Mi’gmag travelling into the Bathurst Harbour. Unfortunately, due to toxic effluent flowing from the mining activities of the Brunswick Mines, the Atlantic salmon population and populations of other native fish species such as trout, smelt, and American eel in the Little River were eventually obliterated. With the closure of the mines in 2013 the historic environmental problems has come to a celebrated end.
Pabineau First Nation firmly believes that a collaborated effort will restore The Little River to a healthy sustainable Atlantic salmon population. During this multi-year project, the Pabineau First Nation will study the current and ongoing conditions of the Little River, develop its capacity to host the propagation of various fish species and increase salmon populations throughout the Little River system.