Local First Nations Standing in Solidarity With N.S. First Nation Over Treaty Rights Conflict

First Nations across the RMWB are standing in solidarity with the Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia after their lobster pound was ransacked.

According to reports by CBC, back in September, the First Nation began catching lobster out of the regular fishing season noting their right to do so through their treaty rights.

However, non-Indigenous fishermen have taken exception to this allegedly going as far as to damage their holding facility and setting a fire in the area.

“The manner in which the Mikmaq people are being treated while they’re exercising their inherent rights is very alarming and enough is enough,” said Arthur Noskey, Treaty 8 Grand Chief.

Noskey believes the underlying problem in this situation is a lack of education around treaty rights rather than prejudice against Indigenous peoples.

He argues many don’t understand these rights are protected by the law.

“It is because the education curriculum doesn’t include the other side of the history, what these international treaties mean.”

The Treaty 8 First Nations join a growing list of First Nations across the country showing support for the Mikmaq people.

Noskey notes it’s important they shed light on this incident as it could potentially happen in northern Alberta.

“Yes, we don’t have lobster but we still have forests with the animals we depend on. There’s a lot of people, non Indigenous people, who like hunting, trapping… they enjoy the land.”

They are calling on the federal and provincial governments to recognize and uphold all treaty rights.

They’re also inviting Queen Elizabeth ll, through the Governor-General of Canada, to meet with treaty partners to discuss the ‘ongoing ignorance and lack of implementation to each of our respective treaties.’

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