The Wisqoq Recovery and Action Plan followed a unique process of engagement that involved Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq from the early stages of development. The process was initiated by the appointment of two co-chairs, Alton Hudson (Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq) and Mark MacPhail (Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources), by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, who were equal partners to the designated co-chair, Mark Elderkin, from NS Department of Natural Resources. Meetings to develop the plan were held at three locations across the province, Millbrook, Eskasoni and Bear River First Nations, to enhance a broader breadth of participants and perspectives.
This recovery plan greatly benefited from the participation and expertise of many individuals across Nova Scotia, including Mi’kmaw knowledge holders and elders, foresters, biologists, botanists, basket makers, crafters and other experts.
The recovery and action plan defines the recovery goal, objectives, strategies, and actions that are deemed necessary to protect, conserve, and recover Wisqoq in Nova Scotia. The goal, objectives, strategies, and actions are based on the best existing knowledge and are subject to modification resulting from changed objectives and new findings. The implementation of the recovery and action plan shall take place over the next 5 years (2016-2022).
The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM) has a lot of experience conserving Wisqoq trees in Nova Scotia. They have helped locate Wisqoq all over the province, held workshops to teach people how to identify Wisqoq and have gathered seeds to plant in the future. They have also planted trees in the Communities, shown people how to build Wisqoq baskets and made posters and hand-outs to teach people about the importance of Black Ash. They will continue to conserve Wisqoq by working with the Wisqoq Species at Risk Recovery Team to plant experimental trees in communities and collecting more seeds in the fall of 2016. The experimental trees will help find out the best places to plant trees and the seeds gathered will start a Wisqoq orchard. Each year people will be able to collect seeds from the orchard to raise seedlings for planting more trees all over Nova Scotia. The actions of CMM are the first steps taken to recover Wisqoq using guidance from the Species at Risk Recovery Team and the Recovery and Action Plan.