Federal Court overturns Mi’kmaq band council decision on fishing licenses

APTN National News
The Supreme Courts’ Marshall Decision led to the federal government granting the Mi’kmaq access to commercial fisheries.

But now, through a quirk of law, the Federal Court has overturned a band council’s decision on who can use its commercial fishing license.

It’s because bands are still using interim agreements signed with the federal government.

The interference might not sound like good news, but a local band member says the ruling is letting her fight back against her band after they took away her right to fish for crab.

APTN’s Trina Roache has more.

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2 thoughts on “Federal Court overturns Mi’kmaq band council decision on fishing licenses

  1. How can a band take away rights guaranteed under the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous rights? Is that the new modern day treaties?

  2. Not understanding why this fisher did not simply fish as Donald Marshall Jr. did? He was not fishing for the band and was allowed to make a moderate living by selling his catch. This case will only strengthen the Federal government position that they can an do dictate who can fish under their regulation only. Recently I had a representative of ACIFI publicly confirm that Bands must apply to them in order to make business decisions on the “communal” licenses that they obviously have only allowed us to use at their discretion. Many Mikmaw fishers were present and never said a word, probably because so many bands have “benefitted” by using ACIFI funds to develop their fisheries. No non-aboriginal fishing business has to apply to any organization in order to benefit from their licenses. Cases like this solidify exactly what we should not accept as our rights under the Marshall decision. Of course, there will be great confusion among band members thinking that they have the right to “take over” band operations under this ruling. This was brought forward by a well established fisherman who was already in the business before they had their license taken away. These are “communal” licenses I should hope whatever deal they come up benefits the whole community and not an individual fisher who could fish their right as Donald Marshall did without interference.

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