Batchewana First Nation Reminds the Ministry of Natural Resources about First Nations Jurisdiction


The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) claimed to have found hundreds of rotting fish in abandoned gill nets on Lake Superior, in a release issued on January 25, 2017.

Although Batchewana First Nation (BFN) exercises jurisdiction over the Lake Superior fishery, jurisdiction that is recognized by Canadian Courts, the MNR failed to notify the First Nation or make any effort to collaborate on this shocking discovery.

The BFN Natural Resources Department has received numerous phone calls from concerned citizens in regards to the shameful waste of this valuable resource.

The First Nation operates under their own Fisheries management system that is developed in accordance with original teachings and responsibilities that are respectful to the land. It is for this reason that BFN citizens are outraged that an act so blatantly disrespectful could take place within their territory.

The BFN Chief and Council are of the strong belief that there is a disconnect between the Ontario Courts and their administrator (the MNRF). The MNRF continually challenges Batchewana’s recognized jurisdiction on many fronts, this disconnect has proven to be problematic and ultimately causes unfortunate situations such as this.

Batchawana with limited resources is only able to manage the indigenous fishery portion of the Great Lakes fishery as it pertains to Lake Superior at this time which is misaligned with Batchewana’s jurisdiction over the entire eastern lake superior area.

The MNR release stated that the nets had been unattended for well over a month, which means in turn that they had also been undiscovered for well over a month. If Batchewana was properly financially resourced with the revenues from the overall resources the fisheries generate this type of waste would not be happening.

Chief Sayers stated, “ If the Ontario Courts and their administrator were able to amend their damaged relationship and Batchewana had the means to properly manage and patrol the fishery systems on eastern Lake Superior, we would see a significant improvement in the fisheries without alarming scenarios such as this.”


  1. Jijak Kwe
    I feel for you, im ashamed of what government has done and continues to do to first nations. And although i dont agree with Teds tone…..if Batchewana First Nations members had the resources to place the nets in the first place, they must take responsibility to remove and monitor them….and that applies to any people, of any culture and Batchewana should be investigating and reprimanding the purpetraitors… only takes a small handfull to tarnish everyone elses great reputation and respect for your lands. It should not have been justified through governments fault. Self accountability is everyones own responsibility dear friend…

  2. I do not have a problem with hunting and fishing right in accordance with Treaty’s that were signed. If you want to exercise these rights do so with the means and equipment that was in use when these these Treaty’s were signed

    • It would be acceptable if it was carried out in the way it was intended but it’s far from that it’s being horribly abused every day by far too many. These thoughtless people are not thinking about their future generations and they also kill our sport fishing and limited hunting opportunities by taking far more than they should be.
      “Respect mother earth”, yes, you better start doing that before it’s too late.

  3. Uh huh, really taking care of the lands and thinking about future generations by leaving tons of rotting fish because someone didn’t feel like bothering to go and pull these nets, and this is certainly not the first or last time it will happen. But, it’s all the government’s fault, right?
    Spare me the bullshit.

  4. “If Batchewana was properly financially resourced with the revenues from the overall resources the fisheries generate this type of waste would not be happening.”
    What a king size load of crap.
    Someone better wise up quick and start thinking about the fish, moose, elk, deer that their future generations will be doing without if things continue the way they are, it’s absolutely no fault of the government and it’s beyond pitiful to insinuate it.

    • Your ignorance only compounds the need for more education about Aboriginal and Treaty rights and the Peoples responsibility to take care of our lands. We are in a time of Truth and Reconciliation. 150 years of destruction is the fault of policies and legislation created (by government) to remove those rights to care for the land in the True Spirit and Intent of the Treaties. You, Mr Cameron are in Treaty Territory every time you step out of your personal dwelling, every time you get out of your vehicle and leave your mark on the ground in ONTARIO. Time for the other Nations in this province to begin understanding that. Good day to you sir!

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