Canada Boycott lobster imports not caught by Mi'kmaq fishers, Assembly of First Nations says
‘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.
Canada's First Nations are calling for a boycott of all imports of Maritime lobster and lobster products that are not harvested by Mi'kmaq fishers.
Kevin Hart, the Manitoba regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, has reached out to the European Union, urging them to support the Mi'kmaw moderate livelihood fishery.
"Canadian exports of lobster to Europe are worth about $175 million per year. A European trade boycott of non-Indigenous lobster in support of the treaty rights of Mi'kmaq fishers would be consistent with the European Parliament's resolution to respect and support the rights and personal safety of Indigenous people," Hart said.
Mobs are attacking Indigenous fisheries in Nova Scotia. Here’s what’s going on
Tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen have come to a head over fishing rights in Nova Scotia — a dispute that has a history spanning hundreds of years. In 1999, Canada's Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case R. v. Marshall that several treaties signed in the 1760s granting the Mi'kmaq the right to harvest and sell fish were still valid. The over 250-year-old agreement, known as the Peace and Friendship Treaties, specified that the Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq had the right to earn a "moderate livelihood." The Sipekne'katik First Nation would go on to open its own fishery in St. Mary's Bay, N.S.
"A European boycott of non-Indigenous Canadian lobster imports will show Canada, Nova Scotia and the non-Indigenous fishers that there is zero tolerance in Europe for violence against Indigenous peoples."
The dispute between commercial lobster fishermen and Mi'kmaq fishermen has led toin southwest Nova Scotia, with commercial fishermen there objecting to Mi'kmaq boats fishing out of season, saying it could harm lobster stocks.
A landmark 1999 Supreme Court decision affirmed the right of First Nations people on Canada's East Coast to earn a "moderate livelihood" from fishing, though that term has never been defined.
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Commercial fishers who say the fishery is illegal have pushed back on the move, with facilities that store lobster caught by Mi'kmaq fishers.
Hart's comments were made in a news release Wednesday afternoon as Indigenous leaders in Manitoba condemned the RCMP for not doing enough to keep the peace between the two groups.
A drum song and prayer at the RCMP D Division on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg preceded a ceremonial horse spirit ride to the Manitoba Legislative Building on Wednesday, where the Indigenous leaders gathered to show solidarity with the Mi'kmaq fishers.
"I want to send out a message to our friends and relatives, our brothers and sisters, on the East Coast, I want you to know that you are in our thoughts," Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Arlen Dumas said during a Facebook Live event before the gathering at the RCMP building.
Nova Scotia restaurants boycott lobster in response to violence against the Mi'kmaq
HALIFAX — Kourosh Rad, owner of Garden Food Bar and Lounge in Halifax, says he removed his popular lobster-based menu items in support of the province's Mi'kmaq fishers. The Mi'kmaq are in a dispute over fishing rights in southwestern Nova Scotia and have been targeted recently with violence and intimidation. Rad is among a few restaurant owners in the province who have responded to the conflict by boycotting lobster. “The lobster that we areThe Mi'kmaq are in a dispute over fishing rights in southwestern Nova Scotia and have been targeted recently with violence and intimidation. Rad is among a few restaurant owners in the province who have responded to the conflict by boycotting lobster.
"We will amplify this issue, we will bring it forward. There needs to be some meaningful discussion and conversation."
The Facebook event, called "The federal government's abject failure: First Nation fishing rights discussed," also included Sen. Murray Sinclair, who spoke critically about the RCMP's lack of protection for the Mi'kmaq.
He said videos showed violent, racist behaviour by the commercial fishers against Mi'kmaq people while RCMP stood by.
"If we are a nation of laws, then the highest law in this country is the Constitution, and our Constitution recognizes and affirms the treaty rights of the Mi'kmaq people to conduct themselves in accordance to their fishing rights under those treaties," said Sinclair, a former judge who was chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Sinclair said he has also expressed his disappointment in messages to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the RCMP.
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.