Teddy hits the east coast pausing Mi’kmaw fishery

Mi’kmaw fishers expected to start up lobster fishery again.

The remnants of Hurricane Teddy has paused the Mi’kmaw fishery as high winds whipped across Nova Scotia.

Fishers from Sipekne’katik First Nation kicked off their moderate livelihood fishery last Thursday in Saulnierville, three hours east of Halifax.

They were met by an angry group of non-Indigenous fishers.

Despite the fact they were exercising their right to fish, this past weekend was consumed by boat chases on the water and pushing and shoving to get traps back.

When Teddy moved in, it made conditions impossible to fish.

But Mi’kmaw fishers will soon be back on the water – with support.

“The government of Canada has spoken loudly in favour of reconciliation, but the essence of reconciliation is respect for the rights of all Indigenous Peoples,” wrote Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

In New Brunswick, the Wolostoqey chiefs released their own statement.

“We urge the prime minister to intervene and force DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) to fully agree and implement Aboriginal and Treaty fishing rights,” said the chiefs.

Discussions with the federal government and Sipekne’katik Nation are ongoing.

Because the feds came to the table, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs (ANSMC) says there will not be any actions elsewhere in the province.

“The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia will not be prohibiting or obstructing those with a provincial moose licence to conduct their harvest in the Cape Breton Highlands,” said Rod Googoo who holds the lands, wildlife and forestry portfolio for the ANSMC. “We have no reason to escalate the situation further.”

The ANSMC also extended its state of emergency to September 29, with possibility of extension.

More supporters are expected to arrive at the Saulnierville wharf once the storm dies down – and the conflict resumes.

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