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Maritime Aboriginal Aquatic Resources Secretariat




Considering the needs and the optimistic belief that policies, practices, regulations and government decisions will accept our reality over time, the traditional ancestral homeland communities as represented by the Native Councils in the Maritime Provinces, resolved in 2003, to establish a Maritime Aboriginal Aquatic Resources Secretariat (MAARS). MAARS would focus its work to understand the breadth of aquatic resources, the significance of oceans management, the value in developing multi-stakeholder partnerships, the importance of understanding the complexities of the modern fishing industry, and the processes which lead to governance decision making.

IKANAWTIKET Environmental respect

IKANAWTIKET is the Aboriginal Environmental Respect Organization of the Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council (MAPC) and its partner Native Councils.

As a Registered Society, IKANAWTIKET promotes the preservation of the natural environment by educating and informing the public about environmental issues and biodiversity within the Maritime Provinces.

IKANAWTIKET also promotes the dissemination of information and supports speakers discussing Mi’kmaq culture, worldviews, traditional knowledge, customs and environmental practices.

IKANAWTIKET also undertakes “on-the-ground” or “on-the-water” projects to preserve, protect and restore sensitive environmental habitats while increasing the public’s understanding about the importance of a particular place or significant environmental feature or plant, animal, fowl or fish life.

IKANAWTIKET focuses efforts on the protection and recovery of species and habitats at risk by encouraging the full and effective participation of Aboriginal Communities in the implementation of The Species at Risk Act (SARA) and complementary provincial species at risk acts.

IKANAWTIKET tracks Canada’s response to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

IKANAWTIKET helps the MAPC partner Native Councils and their Aboriginal Communal Commercial Fisheries Entities with information about aquatic resources listed under SARA or to be listed and helps the Native Councils to develop approaches to understanding or dealing with the proposed listing or recovery plans for a listed terrestrial or aquatic species.


IKANAWTIKET and the MARITIME ABORIGINAL AQUATIC RESOURCES SECRETARIAT (MAARS) jointly contribute and co-produce the MAWQATMUTI’KW JOURNAL, which features some resources events affecting the Indigenous People within the world, features guest writer articles by Mi’kmaq Persons, and highlight news about some major activities undertaken by the MAARS Team.


Native Council of Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council
Native Council of Prince Edward Island
their Aboriginal Communal Commercial Fisheries Entities


∙ Serves its partners by creating a broad based repository of knowledge about Maritime Region aquatic resources ∙ Serves its partners by encouraging co-operation and the sharing of aquatic resource information ∙ Supports its partners to establish and take on active participatory roles at various fishery resource committees, advisory councils, local and regional forums.

Internal Capacity

1 Implementation Secretariat Director, ∙ 1 full-time Account Posting & Reconciliation Clerk, ∙ 1 Aquaculture Development & Habitat Impact Manager (ADHIM), ∙ 1 Aquatic Resources Manager (ARM), 1 Oceans Involvement Manager (OIM), ∙ 1 Regional SARA Facilitator


∙ MAARS encourages its partners and their communal fisheries entities to work on developing relationships with: fishery sciences, research institutions, academia, Environment & Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources, and a host of other groups, including commercial fishery organizations, international bodies such as the CBD, UNCLOS, UNDRIP and other organizations which have discussions about aquatic resources, commercial fishing, fishery governance, oceans management, and partnerships.