Manager of Nova Scotia pound claims in online post that he ‘opened the doors’ for non-Indigenous fishers to take Mi’kmaw catch

James Muise wrote on Facebook he gave the fishers ‘permission’ to take the Mi’kmaw lobster catch.

Shy Francis, known as Awesome Awesome, of Sipekne’katik First Nation, recently saw a Facebook post in the North Atlantic Commercial Fishermen Group.

It was posted by James Muise, who says he’s the manager of the pound.

“Here’s the scoop with anyone charged of the pubnico incident,” Muise starts. “I was in the building that night with my son which we should not of been there…. I’m the only one who had a key to the building so we went down and opened the door for them…. and gave everyone permission to go and take the lobster out of the building, so if you would like to call me and would like to talk to you and your lawyers to get the charges dismissed.”

Muise posted his number, and Francis called to verify the post.

“He said that he was the manager of that pound and that he gave permission to those fellers to take the keys and open them up and do as you will with the crates of the lobster that’s in there,” said Francis.

When APTN News called the number, Muise verified that it was his number but hung up after being asked for an interview.

Last week, 23 people were charged, 15 for break and enter, and eight for break and enter and mischief.

For the criminal activity on Oct. 13, 2020 when over 200 people surrounded the West Pubnico lobster pound in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Thousands of dollars worth of Mi’kmaw lobster were destroyed.

The non-Indigenous fishermen reacted with violence that spanned over a month, after Sipkne’katik First Nation launched their moderate livelihood fishery.

lobster catch
Shy Francis, known as Awesome Awesome, of Sipekne’katik First Nation. Photo: Angel Moore/APTN.

Mi’kmaw harvesters have a treaty right to hunt, fish and gather to earn a moderate livelihood.

Francis is shocked Muise is suggesting the charges of break and enter should be dropped.

“My blood pressure rose, like not just because I was there that night, and had to deal with non-natives taking the lobster, trying to terrorize us that night,” said Francis.

The pound was burnt to the ground a few days later. The fire is deemed suspicious by the RCMP, and no arrests have been made.

APTN asked the RCMP if what Muise wrote changes anything in terms of the charges.

The RCMP said this is an ongoing investigation that is before the courts.

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