Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs: Call for Action on Fishing Conflicts in Southwest Nova
The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs (Assembly) are calling for immediate action from the Federal Government, Provincial Government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to put a stop to the unlawful actions being taken against Mi’kmaw fishers, women and community members in southwest Nova.
“Lives are being put at risk,” said Chief Terrance Paul, Co-Chair and Fisheries Lead for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs. “The inactions of the government and RCMP are only providing for more opportunities for people to be injured, or possibly worse. We demand that something be done immediately to stop the ongoing violence and the harassment of harvesters from Sipekne’katik, and community members, from all 13 of our Mi’kmaw communities.”
The Assembly has been pushing for Canada to intervene in the waters and on the shores in Digby, and surrounding areas, since Mi’kmaw harvesters first took to the waters on September 17th in their pursuit of a Moderate Livelihood from fishing. Frustrations are at an all-time high, because there continues to be a lack of action from the RCMP, Federal and Provincial governments, all who have a duty to protect their citizens. The Assembly is angered that their delay is only escalating the situation further.
“We have Treaty Rights to be in the waters fishing for a Moderate Livelihood and despite what some people may believe, this is NOT an illegal fishery. Our Right to fish for a Moderate Livelihood was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 and non-Indigenous fishers and industry reps must understand that we will not be bullied into pulling our boats or gear out of the waters. Our communities will continue to exercise our fishing rights,” continued Chief Paul.
For more information contact:
Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office