Stand with Mi’kmaq People in Defence of Their Hereditary and Treaty Fishing Rights
Idle No More has called a National Week of Action in support of the Mi’kmaq peoples’ right to fish on their unceded territories. Their callout points out that “The inaction of the federal and provincial government and the RCMP to protect Mi’kmaq people is a violation of Indigenous inherent rights, Treaty rights, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. This is not reconciliation.”
Over 250 years ago the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1752 encoded the Mi’kmaq people’s right to hunt and fish their lands and establish trade. In 1999, a landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling, R v. Marshall, recognized that the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people had the right to hunt, fish and gather for a moderate livelihood.
Governments have for 20 years delayed implementing the court ruling, including by refusing to define what constitutes a “moderate livelihood.” Nova Scotia law still prohibits Mi’kmaq from selling what they harvest even though their treaty rights include the right to do so. Meanwhile the Department of Fisheries has given Clearwater, North America’s largest shellfish producer, a near monopoly on lobster fishing in the region to the detriment of Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen and of the conservation of the fishery itself.
Faced with government inaction, the Sipekne’katik First Nation became the first to start its own self-regulated Moderate Livelihood fishery launched on the 21st anniversary of the Marshall decision, September 17, 2020. Since launching the fishery they have faced intimidation, violent attacks and vandalism, while the RCMP stood by.
For further information and further actions as they are organized click here.
Saturday, October 24
All Eyes on Mi’kma’ki
Organized by Eastern Circle, Black Lives Matter NB, Flip Saint John, Leap4wards
Idle No More London
Idle No More Calgary
March will begin at RCMP headquarters, 11140 109 St NW