Abegweit Conservation Society
Abegweit Salmon Friends Project
“The Plamu (Salmon) is regarded as a sacred fish species amongst the Lnu’k of Epekwitk (Mi’kmaq of PEI) and the Wabanaki Territory (Atlantic). The fishing of Plamu has not only been a way of uniting families and their community but is also revered for the passing on of Traditional Ecological Knowledge through the generations. This knowledge is essential to the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well being of the Lnu’k through every stage of their development; child, youth, adult and elder.” -Eliza Knockwood ITEK Researcher.
Learning about wild Atlantic salmon and other fish species in our rivers and the ocean is fundamental to caring for them. The Plamu’k na Kitapina’q (Salmon are our Friends) Program has been adapted from the Atlantic Salmon Federation Fish Friends curriculum published in 1995 to include Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Focusing on environmental sustainability, the Plamu’k na Kitapina’q program covers habitat, biodiversity, life cycles, change over time, adaptation to change, freshwater ecology, sustainability and stewardship. Based largely on science, this popular program also integrates Lnu’k (Mi’kmaq) traditional ecological knowledge, social studies, language arts, math and art.
The Plamu’k na Kitapina’q Program is a six month program that runs from January to the end of June. For six months the students observe the plamu’k growing from a tiny-eyed egg, to a sac fry, to a fry. They quickly become their proud caretakers, by maintaining a clean tank and insuring the temperature is gradually increased as they begin to mature.
The program involved approximately 520 students in our 2018 program and there were over a 100 additional people that participate in different capacities, such as teachers and parents, many island watershed associations, Abegweit Conservation Society and Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery team members, community elders and many other contributors. As our program continues to grow in interest we anticipate having 25 schools involved in our 2019 program this year.