‘It is a right’: Eskasoni harvesters gather to write fishery plan ahead of spring launch

Fishers of the largest Mi’kmaw community in Atlantic Canada are gathering to develop a plan for their own moderate livelihood plan.

The goal is to have a plan in place by the time the spring fishery rolls around.

Eskasoni is about twice the size of Sipekne’katik First Nation which launched its own fishery in the fall.

It was met with violence from non-Indigenous fishers.

Jibby Paul is one of the harvesters taking part in the talks.

“What happened up near Digby, Saulnierville now that woke up the world, now we are protected, we are protected now it is not a privilege here it is the right and when we exercise our right to make a moderate living.” He says.

Ashton Bernard is another harvester at the talks.

He’s facing charges of fishing without a license.

“We’re going to have a lot more boats than Shubie, we’re going to have a lot more boats than Waycogomah, Membertou, any reserve on Mi’kma’ki so our plan is going to be I assuming we are going to spread our guys out so it’s going to be interesting,” he says.

Two moderate livelihood coordinators will be selected to work with the fisher to develop a plan before spring.

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