Canada A timeline of Nova Scotia's lobster conflict between Mi'kmaq and commercial fishers
‘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.
HALIFAX — A timeline of major events in the conflict between Mi'kmaq and non-Indigenous commercial fishers in southwest Nova Scotia.
Sept. 17: Sipekne'katik First Nation launches a self-regulated lobster fishery outside the federally regulated commercial fishing season. The Mi'kmaq are asserting their treaty right that they say allows them to fish when and where they want.
Sept. 18: Two people are arrested on assault charges following confrontations between Mi'kmaq and non-Indigenous fishers on the wharf of the self-regulated fishery in Weymouth, N.S.
Fire destroys lobster facility in southwest Nova Scotia amid escalating fishery tensions
A fire that police are calling suspicious destroyed a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., early Saturday. The blaze broke out at one of two facilities raided and vandalized by commercial fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia earlier this week protesting the "moderate livelihood" fishery launched by Sipekne'katik First Nation last month. Mi'kmaw fishers were storing their catches at the facilities. In a news release Saturday morning, the RCMP said they responded to the blaze at about midnight Saturday. Police say the fire is suspicious, and a man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries believed to be related to the fire.
Sept. 20: A group of non-Indigenous fishers remove traps set by the Sipekne'katik First Nation in St. Marys Bay, arguing the Mi'kmaq fishery is threatening lobster stocks.
Sept. 22: Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett affirm the Mi'kmaq have a constitutionally protected treaty right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. Jordan had previously said commercial fisheries cannot exist outside the federally regulated season.
Video: Calls for Ottawa to act in N.S. Mi’kmaw lobster fishery dispute (cbc.ca)
Oct. 14: A lobster pound in New Edinburgh, N.S. is ransacked while rocks are thrown and a vehicle is set on fire at another pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S. RCMP say a total of about 200 people are present at both incidents.
Oct. 16: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls on local police to ensure the safety of people involved in the self-regulated fishery.
Oct. 17: A lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico holding the catch of Mi'kmaq fishers is destroyed by fire.
Oct. 19: Four cabinet ministers and the N.D.P. request an emergency debate in the House of Commons regarding the conflict between non-Indigenous and Mi'kmaq fishers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press
For Mi'kmaq fishers, dreams of a peaceful harvest on N.S. waters repeatedly dashed .
HALIFAX — Mi'kmaw fisherman Robert Syliboy says he dreams of peacefully trapping lobster off the shores of southwestern Nova Scotia. But the hopes of the 27-year-old from the Sipekne'katik First Nation have been repeatedly dashed by the vandalism and arson that has descended on his community after it launched a self-regulated fishery in St. Marys Bay. One of his boats was burned at a wharf on Oct. 5. "Everything I worked for was right there," heBut the hopes of the 27-year-old from the Sipekne'katik First Nation have been repeatedly dashed by the vandalism and arson that has descended on his community after it launched a self-regulated fishery in St. Marys Bay.