Mr. Speaker, this year's seal hunt on the Magdalen Islands is a historic event. In an unforgettable collaborative project with hunters from the Magdalen Islands, the Micmac people of the Gesgapegiag First Nation have been able to rediscover traditional knowledge that had been lost for centuries.
Although their ancestors helped teach non-aboriginals to hunt for harp seals, the Micmac had this part of their culture taken away from them when the reserve system was created. Some 200 years later, the people of the Magdalen Islands were very moved to be able to return the favour and share their expertise on the pack ice.
Accompanied by an Inuit colleague from Nunavut, the Micmac conducted a harvest based on their traditions, combining respect for the animal and nature.
This event marks a new willingness to develop co-operation, dialogue and friendship between the communities of the Magdalen Islands and Gesgapegiag. We can only applaud the courage of the people who organized the event, which was an opportunity for growth between the founding peoples of this country.