Mi’kmaq lobster commercial fishers (Photo: courtesy The Canadian Press)
Yukon legislature passes motion to support Mi’kmaw fishery
Monday, October 26, 2020, 15:00 (GMT + 9)
“It’s not easy, but it’s also necessary for us to have these very difficult conversations”
Elected officials in the Yukon, including all 19 members of the legislature, are backing the right of Mi’kmaw fishers on the East Coast to launch a moderate livelihood fishery.
The motion calls on the government to denounce the violence against Mi’kmaw people and the RCMP’s failure to protect Mi’kmaw communities, and to call on the Government of Canada to work with the Sipekne’katik First Nation to implement a moderate livelihood fishery.
Mi’kmaw lobster fishers have been continuously targeted and terrorized by non-Indigenous fishers (Photo: courtey of Toronto Star Newspapers)
“The violence that has erupted in Nova Scotia is jarring. It is hard to watch even from the other side of the country,” said NDP leader Kate White, who introduced the motion on Oct. 21.
“Today, I welcome my colleagues to join me in this uncomfortable conversation so that we can talk openly about Canada’s racism problem and ultimately stand together so that we can show our support and solidarity for the Mi’kmaq people,” she said.
On Sept. 17 the Sipekne’katik First Nation began setting lobster traps to begin their commercial season. It was a decision based on a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that affirmed the Mi’kmaq have the right to a “moderate livelihood fishery.”
Miꞌkmaq are a First Nations people of the Northeastern Woodlands, indigenous to the areas now known as Canada's Atlantic Provinces (Click image to enlarge)
Violence from non-Indigenous fishers targeting Mi’kmaw fishers in Nova Scotia, in retaliation to the early season, has been ongoing since September.
In the legislature, all three parties backed the solidarity motion and made comments around racism and Indigenous rights.
“I see this as a huge opportunity — if we’re going to do anything in terms of standing beside and behind our brothers and sisters from across the country — to put our voices and our efforts behind them. Also, at the same time, what is happening there is no different from what we see in our society here and now,” said minister Pauline Frost.
Author: Haley Ritchie /Yukon News | Read the rest of the story by clicking the link here