The Assembly of First Nations Environmental Stewardship Unit received a mandate from the Chiefs-in-Assembly in Resolution 83-2008 to establish “First Nations eco-labeling models.” First Nation products need to be highlighted as legitimate and credible socially, culturally, economically, and environmentally responsible products that directly contribute to the well-being of First Nation communities and culture. Labels and logos should reflect the Aboriginal character of the product and should inform consumers that their purchase directly contributes to environmental and social sustainability. Therefore, building upon current market models, First Nations should create a national certified- Aboriginal program.
Market structures are evolving to give preference to sustainable and responsible products, as evidenced by the success of products certified and labeled as green and/or fair trade. Certified labels that are generally recognized for sustainable wild-capture and farmed fish products are ill-fitted to First Nations products due to various economic and social factors. The Assembly of First Nations proposes that First Nations take advantage of current market preferences by creating an Aboriginal and environmentally-sustainable label that promotes First Nations fishing products as ecological sustainable and socially equitable.
First Nations have stressed the importance of building a balanced strategy that will promote economic and environmental initiatives that can create “real” sustainable communities through the fisheries. First Nations would like to engage in discussions on the creation of a First Nations National Fisheries Marketing Consortium that will increase marketing opportunities, explore new ways that First Nations can develop their own eco-labeling products and certification from the communities.