The Nelson House Fisherman’s Association (NHFA) is a community oriented program that provides opportunities for all community members to maintain a traditional, cultural and viable means of sustenance.
As a community program, the NHFA strives to provide viable fishing opportunities by simply using the renewable resource with the NCN Resource Area. The benefits include:
- Opportunities to access funding to qualify for Employment Insurance benefits that maintain an income between seasons.
- Providing viable employment opportunities to NCN members through the fishing industry.
- Mitigating and subsidizing NCN Fishers through the compensation from the 1996 NFA Implementation Agreement.
- Assisting expansion in the international and global economy.
- Using our renewable resources through traditional and sustainable practices.
Opportunities to access funding to qualify for Employment Insurance Benefits that maintain an income between season:
Fishermen are required to make $8,400.00 per year to qualify for E.I. The winter fishery stands alone for E.I. and funds are not transferable to the next season. There are three fishing seasons in a year, winter, spring and fall. The spring and fall earning are combined to attain your E.I benefits.
Providing viable employment opportunities to NCN members through the fishing industry:
We have forty (40) licensed fishermen and about sixty (60) helpers. At the fish plant we have one (1) plant manager, one (1) grader, and one (1) fisheries manager. They are an economic spin off to businesses like O.T Gas.
Mitigating and subsidizing NCN fishers through the compensation from the 1996 NFA:
The NCN Fishers are compensated by receiving a subsidy rate $0.90 a kilogram for the fish. At the end of fishing season $0.45 of the $0.90 go towards their expense and $0.45 is used as income.
- Start-up Program: A start-up is in place to help the fisher to establish him/herself at their fishing destination site. The fisher is given a purchase order for groceries and $300.00 for their supplies. They receive further assistance with equipment such as nets, tubs, knives. They are deducted from their subsidy to pay for all their start-up.
- CEDF (Canadian Economic Development Fund): Fishers apply for a CEDF loan if they have a good production record with the Fresh Water Market Corporation. The Fresh Water is the organization that buys our fish from the local fishermen. We can help the fishermen up to $2,000.00 on the purchase of equipment if the loan gets approved. The fisher gets deducted from their subsidy to cover the $2,000.00 deposit and the rest of the loan is deducted by Fresh Water for CEDF loan.
Country food program will reimburse expenses related to collection storage and processing of food to those NCN members who bring fresh food from neighbouring resources to our distribution centre provided it meets our definition of fresh food guidelines and standards of the program.