DFO Announces External Review of March 2024 Incident

by ahnationtalk on July 9, 20247 Views

July 8, 2024

Today, Minster Lebouthillier announced that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) would be undertaking a comprehensive external review of the events of March 26, 2024, where Mi’kmaw harvesters’ gear and clothing were seized and DFO’s Conservation and Protection Officers (C&P) left them without footwear or phones, hours away from home.

Since that time, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs (Assembly) has met with Minister Lebothillier and her team at DFO, as well as with Parliamentary Secretary Mike Kelloway to discuss the incident.

“While we appreciate what the federal government is committing to with this external review, we hope that it will make a real difference,” said Chief Gerald Toney, Fisheries Co-Lead for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs. “Systemic racism and colonial violence are deep-rooted and the only way to address the issue is to dig deeper into the evidence and commit to making real change.”

The Assembly believes that the effectiveness of this review will depend on a number of important factors, such as: the mandate and cultural competence of the panel, the cooperation of DFO, and the authority that the panel will have to sufficiently look beyond the conduct of particular individuals, and rather into the real underlying issues.

“This has to be more than just a review into this one incident,” continued Chief Toney. “The problems run much deeper than the actions of a few individuals. Our harvesters continue to experience issues on the waters and Canada needs to be better than that.”

The Assembly wants to ensure that Mi’kmaw representatives are involved in this review process and is looking forward to this process getting underway.

NT4

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