Transformative change underway at Fisheries and Oceans Canada to advance reconciliation

A news release from the Government of Canada about how DFO is proceeding to advance reconciliation with First Nations across Canada.

Ottawa, Ontario- The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working to modernize and strengthen its structures in order to support Indigenous capacity building and support their vision of self-determination.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, underscored this commitment by releasing the Department’s Reconciliation Strategy (the Strategy), along with the Action Plan for the Renewal and Expansion of Indigenous Programs at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (the Action Plan).

The Strategy

In June, Minister Wilkinson announced the development of an inward facing,  whole-of-department, long-term approach to advancing meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the area of fisheries, oceans, aquatic habitat, and marine waterways. The Strategy was developed based on federal policy directions, feedback obtained through past and current departmental engagements and consultations with Indigenous peoples and stakeholders. While the Strategy is meant to guide employees in understanding why and how reconciliation is significant to their daily work, the Department is releasing it publicly to underscore its importance. It is intended to help ignite a culture change within the Department and beyond.

An example of concrete action that supports this overarching Strategy is the recently completed Indigenous Program Review, a collaborative, two-year undertaking with the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute and involving over 700 Indigenous partners that has already resulted in improvements to the department’s Indigenous programs and the creation of a new Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative.

To read the full press release, click here.