The Atlantic salmon is at the heart of the concerns of the group, which recalls that its migration passes through the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador.
A group of eight communities Mi'kmaq of New Brunswick joins the lawsuit against the federal government in connection with the approval of the Bay du Nord oil project.
Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn does not want Equinor's $12 billion oil project.
A single oil spill could decimate the species that would migrate through a contaminated area on their way to areas where they are harvested for food, social or ceremonial purposes, including Atlantic salmon, which is culturally significant to Mi'gmaq communities , writes the band in a press release.
The Écojustice group, on behalf of the Équiterre organizations and the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation, began legal proceedings last May. They argue that the Minister of the Environment's approval of the project violates Canada's international obligations to reduce emissions.
Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn co-president Rebecca Knockwood, of the community of Amlamgog (Fort Folly) recalls that salmon fishing is part of the ancestral rights inherent in indigenous communities in the east of the country.
The migration routes of three generations of salmon tracked over 14 years as part of the Atlantic Salmon Federation study .
The group points out that the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador are an integral part of the Atlantic salmon migration cycle and that the species is classified by Fisheries and Oceans Canada as being in a critical zone.
Mi'kmaq chiefs are also concerned that the project contradicts treaty fishing rights and reminds the federal government of its obligation to consult with Indigenous communities.
The federal government has a constitutional obligation to consult with Indigenous communities in a meaningful way. He chose to move forward with the Bay Du Nord project without the advice and guidance of the affected Indigenous communities, laments Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) Chief George Ginnish.
The Bay du Nord project, of the Norwegian multinational Equinor, in collaboration with the Canadian company Husky Energy, plans to exploit a deep-sea oil field. The company estimates that 500 million barrels of crude will be extracted if the project sees the light of day.