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Canada Nisga’a Lisims Government calls on Prime Minister to act in N.S. fisheries dispute

01:51  29 october  2020
01:51  29 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

N.S. calls on Ottawa to define a 'moderate livelihood,' as fishing dispute boils over

  N.S. calls on Ottawa to define a 'moderate livelihood,' as fishing dispute boils over HALIFAX — Calls for Ottawa to define a "moderate livelihood" fishery mounted on Sunday, as hundreds gathered in support of Indigenous lobster fishers after a heated dispute over treaty rights boiled over. Following fierce clashes outside fish plants in southwestern Nova Scotia last week, a lobster pound that stored the catch of Mi’kmaq fishers was burned to the ground early Saturday. The attacks prompted widespread condemnation, with the NDP'sFollowing fierce clashes outside fish plants in southwestern Nova Scotia last week, a lobster pound that stored the catch of Mi’kmaq fishers was burned to the ground early Saturday.

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The Nisga’a Nation is calling on the federal government to do more to protect Mi’kmaw fishers during the ongoing moderate livelihood fisheries dispute in Nova Scotia.

“We are shocked by what’s happening in Nova Scotia,” said Eva Clayton, president of Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG) in an Oct. 22 media release.

“NLG Executive stands in solidarity with the Sipekne’katik Fist Nation and Mi’kmaw fishers. Canada, Nova Scotia, and the RCMP must protect people from violence and intimidation, support their right to fish, and honour their agreements with First Nations.”

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The Sipekne’katik are conducting a lobster fishery outside of the federally regulated season based on a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision that said East Coast Indigenous groups have the right to fish for a “moderate livelihood,” though a second ruling stated this was subject to federal regulation.

The statement follows a tense week in the Atlantic province where non-Indigenous protesters clashed with Sipekne’katik fishers and vandalized property.

Clayton said that the violence in N.S. is evidence of systemic racism and is unacceptable.

“We call on [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau] to respond to the situation in Nova Scotia with action, not words,” she said in the release.

The Nisga’a Nation has managed its own fishery since 1992.

With files from Quinn Bender

Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News

Mi'kmaq fisherman intends to fight federal charges alleging illegal lobster catch .
HALIFAX — A fisherman from a Mi'kmaq community in Cape Breton says he intends to plead not guilty to charges of illegal fishing after his lobster traps were seized last year by federal fisheries officers in southwestern Nova Scotia. Ashton Bernard, 30, of Eskasoni First Nation, said in a telephone interview Monday he will rely on the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Donald Marshall Jr. case. The Supreme Court ruled that East Coast Indigenous communities have the right to fish for a moderate livelihood, citing peace treaties signed by the Crown in the 1760s.

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