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Canada RCMP are letting Mi'kmaw fishermen down, says minister, after violence over lobster catches

20:12  19 october  2020
20:12  19 october  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

‘Terrorizing our people’: N.S. Mi’kmaw fishers have property vandalized, lobsters destroyed

  ‘Terrorizing our people’: N.S. Mi’kmaw fishers have property vandalized, lobsters destroyed On Tuesday night a facility was 'swarmed and vandalized' by commercial fishermen, said Chief Michael Sack of the Sipeknet'katik First Nation.The incidents, the latest in continuing tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia, allegedly occurred at two locations, one in Central West Pubnico, N.S., and the other in New Edinburgh, N.S.

RCMP officers huddle not far from a lobster pound in Nova Scotia. Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says Indigenous people have been ' let down by police ' The tense standoff between Mi ' kmaw lobster fishers and commercial fishermen saw a dangerous acceleration over the weekend, with the

2:06 Violent protests over Mi ’ kmaw fishery in Nova Scotia. Tempers are again flaring up in Nova The chief of the Sipekne’katik First Nation says they have no plans to end a self-regulated lobster Sack’s comments came two days after angry mobs damaged two facilities that handle lobster

a group of people standing on top of a car: RCMP officers huddle not far from a lobster pound in Nova Scotia. Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says Indigenous people have been © Eric Woolliscroft/CBC RCMP officers huddle not far from a lobster pound in Nova Scotia. Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says Indigenous people have been

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the Mi'kmaw fishermen in Nova Scotia have been "let down by police," following increasing violence in the southwest part of the province over the Sipekne'katik band's fishery.

"We must also recognize that once again, as evidenced by the scenes of violence, Indigenous people have been let down by the police. Those who are sworn to protect them," he said during a news conference in Ottawa on Monday morning.

'Do your job': Sipekne'katik chief calls on PM to protect Mi'kmaq fishermen

  'Do your job': Sipekne'katik chief calls on PM to protect Mi'kmaq fishermen Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claims provinces aren't taking advantage of federal government aid aimed at bolstering contact tracing efforts. Mike Le Couteur looks at who's not asking for help, and the barriers facing contact tracers.

A Mi ' kmaw fisherman says he was forced to barricade himself inside a lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia on Tuesday night while outside a Commercial fishermen have been demanding that the federal government stop the Mi ' kmaw from harvesting and selling lobster outside the commercial

His comments came as tensions mount over the First Nations lobster harvest in southwestern Nova Scotia. WATCH | Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller on the tensions in the N.S. lobster fishery. 'Protect us,' says chief. Sack said the federal government and the RCMP are letting the

"Throughout history, Indigenous peoples have experienced continuous discrimination and to this day still suffer the consequences of colonial practices, but they have shown an extreme resilience and courage in standing up for their rights."

Miller was joined by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

The four Liberal cabinet ministers have joined the NDP in calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the escalating fight between commercial fishermen and Mi'kmaw fishers in southwest Nova Scotia, which has become increasingly violent in the last week.

Two lobster facilities in southwest Nova Scotia were targeted and vandalized by commercial fishermen last week. One of the facilities, located in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., was destroyed in a Saturday blaze RCMP have deemed suspicious.

Municipality of Argyle warden worried about safety of residents amid ongoing fishery tensions

  Municipality of Argyle warden worried about safety of residents amid ongoing fishery tensions The warden of the Municipality of Argyle says he's worried about the safety of residents after a suspicious fire destroyed a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., early Saturday, amid ongoing tensions between commercial fishermen and Mi'kmaw fishers. "When violence like that happens, it doesn't always just mean property," Danny Muise told Radio-Canada on Sunday morning. "One of these days, something tragic is going to happen because the tension is getting worse and worse as it goes on, and as long as it goes on, you have to be more and more concerned about the safety of the residents.

Mi ’ kmaw fisherman Jason Marr and others were forced to take cover inside the lobster pound as the building’s windows were smashed out and Marr’s “I thought they were going to kill me,” the Mi ’ kmaw fisherman said . ‘We can’t protect you’. In both incidents and in subsequent standoffs between the

The fishermen say the Mi ' kmaw traps violate federal regulations. They were taken in a convoy of trucks to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans office in Meteghan, N.S., after being hauled out of the water over several days, according to Luc LeBlanc of the Maritime Fishermen 's Union.

A Digby County, N.S., man has also been arrested and charged in relation to an assault on Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack.

More RCMP sent to N.S.

The RCMP's response to the violence has been met with criticism.

"In the case of violence, intimidation and terrorist activities, the RCMP has done little to protect the rights of Indigenous people who are practising their treaty rights," said NDP MP Charlie Angus, the party's ethics critic during a separate news conference Monday morning.

"We are calling on the federal government today to send a clear message to the RCMP that this refusal to defend the non-violent treaty rights of Indigenous people ... is not acceptable."


Video: Trudeau calls for end to violence and solution in lobster dispute (Global News)

WATCH | Storage facility burned down in N.S. lobster fishery standoff:

Blair said he has spoken to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki about the force's responsibility.

'The world's watching': Mi'kmaw fishers use live broadcasts to combat violence and racism

  'The world's watching': Mi'kmaw fishers use live broadcasts to combat violence and racism The sister of a Mi'kmaw fisherman trapped in a building and attacked by a violent mob on Oct. 14 says social media and live streaming are crucial tools to combat racism and protect supporters of Mi'kmaw fishers and their new rights-based fishery in Nova Scotia. Jolene Marr, a fisher from Sipekne'katik First Nation, had already begun the nearly five-hour trip from her community to a lobster pound in New Edinburgh, N.S., to investigate a growing crowd of opposing, non-Indigenous fishery workers, when her car was redirected by a text from her brother. "It said, 'They have me surrounded,' and I gasped," she said.

Indigenous services minister calls raid on N.S. fishing facilities an 'assault' on Mi ' kmaw people | CBC News. Indigenous fishermen make up a sizable percentage of the "commercial" fleet ( over the past few years the feds have even bought up over 0 million dollars in lobster licences from

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says that Nova Scotia RCMP had Violence over lobster fisheries a disgrace: Indigenous services minister . CBC News. Indigenous services minister Marc Miller says urgent response is needed with Mi ' kmaw fishermen under attack.

"The violence and harassment and intimidation that we have seen in Nova Scotia are completely unacceptable, cannot continue and must stop now,"  he said Monday.

"The reckless violence and the racist threats we have seen do nothing to bring us closer to a resolution,"

Blair, whose portfolio includes the RCMP, agreed to a request from Nova Scotia's attorney general to boost the RCMP's presence in the region.

"I've spoken this morning and over the weekend to the RCMP commissioner and she has assured me that she has the resources necessary to manage the situation on the ground and uphold the law," he said.

Emergency debate could proceed today

Commercial fishermen in Nova Scotia have been protesting the fishery launched by Sipekne'katik First Nation last month, a right affirmed by a 1999 Supreme Court ruling.

The 21-year-old decision, known as the Marshall decision, affirmed the Mi'kmaw right to operate a "moderate livelihood" fishery.

a truck driving down a dirt road: Four Liberal cabinet ministers joined the NDP in calling for Parliament to hold an emergency debate to discuss southwest Nova Scotia's escalating fishery dispute. © Taryn Grant/CBC Four Liberal cabinet ministers joined the NDP in calling for Parliament to hold an emergency debate to discuss southwest Nova Scotia's escalating fishery dispute.

The court said the federal government could regulate the Mi'kmaw fishery but must justify any restrictions it placed on it.

The new Sipekne'katik fishery operates outside the federally mandated commercial season, with fishermen on that side saying they worry about its impact on lobster conservation.

Minister Jordan said conversations with the band continue behind close doors.

"We do see a path forward," she said.

House Speaker Anthony Rota will decide later today whether the ongoing situation in Nova Scotia will proceed to a debate today.

The request for an emergency debate was first sent by NDP MP Gord Johns on Sunday.

"Sadly, insufficient action has been taken by the federal government to ensure the safety of this community and its fishers, nor to deal with the underlying legal and constitutional issues, which are its root cause," the critic for fisheries and oceans wrote.

AFN chief calls for resignation of RCMP commissioner as N.S. fishery dispute continues .
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is calling on RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to resign days after she defended the response of RCMP officers to an ongoing dispute between Mi'kmaw lobster harvesters and non-Indigenous commercial fishers in Nova Scotia. "Given months of civil unrest and multiple issues relating to the safety of First Nations people across the country, I will be writing to Prime Minister Trudeau to express that we have lost confidence in Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Brenda Lucki," Bellegarde said in a media statement.

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