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Montreal activists denounce recent protests against Mi’kmaq fishermen in Nova Scotia by Olivia O'Malley November 03,2020   |  Source: Global News

Mi’kmaw woman Shawna Jerome said watching the Nova Scotia fishing rights dispute is “disgusting.”

She’s watched helplessly from her home in Quebec over the past month, but on Saturday she took a stand for her nation by joining dozens of protesters in downtown Montreal to fight for Indigenous rights.

“Let us fish, and we’ll let them fish. Stay on your own side and respect one another,” Jerome said.

The ongoing dispute between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen spans decades. Most recently, commercial fisherman were mad at the Sipekne’katik First Nation for opening a lobster fishery in St. Mary’s Bay, N.S., in September, outside of the federally regulated commercial season.

Protests against the fishery in the past weeks have escalated to violence, destruction and mob attacks.

“We have a right to fish and to hunt,” said organizer Dakotah Lahache. “The treaties were put in place by the government to give us the right to do so.”

In 1999, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case R. v. Marshall that several treaties signed in the 1760s granting the Mi’kmaq the right to harvest and sell fish were still valid. The over 250-year-old agreement, known as the Peace and Friendship Treaties, specified that the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq

 

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