Canadian Indigenous Coalition purchases Clearwater Seafoods in landmark deal
First Nations Coalition Reaches Landmark Agreement to Co-Owner of Clearwater Seafoods
One of North America’s largest seafood suppliers is being acquired in part by a coalition of Miꞌkmaq First Nations in a “historic” deal that will facilitate the largest investment in the industry. Canadian seafood industry by an indigenous group to date.
Miꞌkmaq First Nations group – led by Membertou First Nation and Miawpukek First Nation – in partnership with Canadian specialty food company Premium Brands, purchases Clearwater Seafoods, a seafood supplier based in Halifax, NS Scotland, for 1 billion Canadian dollars (765.8 million US dollars).
“This agreement is a moment of transformation for all participating communities,” Chief Membertou Terry Paul, who led the agreement on the Miꞌkmaq side, told CBC News. “We are a player now. To be in business you have to play the game first… You have to play to win, and we have won.
Paul told CTV News the plan is to eventually integrate Indigenous workers into Clearwater Seafoods and create a lasting legacy for Miꞌkmaq communities, resulting in a positive economic impact for generations to come.
The deal has drawn criticism from non-Indigenous commercial fishermen in Nova Scotia, who say Clearwater Seafoods has monopolized the industry because the company holds all licenses for the known deep-sea lobster fishing area. under the name ZPH 41. Globe and Mail, tensions between non-Aboriginal and Mi’kmaq fishermen over Aboriginal fishing outside of the federally regulated season “escalated” in October when non-Aboriginal fishermen destroyed the Mi’kmaq fishermen’s catch. Shortly thereafter, an aboriginal lobster pound was surprisingly reduced to ashes.
Halifax Miꞌkmaq historian Dan Paul told the Globe and Mail that the agreement is a step in the right direction for the economic independence of the indigenous peoples of the region. “The Miꞌkmaq lost their livelihood when the Europeans invaded, and now they are about to get it back,” he said.
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