The Peace & Friendship Treaties guarantee the rights of Mi’kmaq to catch and sell fish, as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the R v. Marshall case in 1999. As set out in Marshall, the Mi’kmaq have a right to fish for a “moderate livelihood.” On September 18, 2020, Sipekne’katik First Nation announced its own self-regulated livelihood fishery, as a sovereign people. As was the case in Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church), the Mi’kmaq have a conservation management plan that is not to be controlled by DFO. Licenses and tags were distributed during a peaceful ceremony and celebration, while more than 50 non-Indigenous fisher boats surrounded the harbour, forming a blockade and infringing on the legal treaty rights of Mi’kmaq peoples.
For current information on the hate crimes and racism being enacted on the Mi’kmaq fishermen: www.kukukwes.com
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