Environment featured Racism

News brief: Fisheries officers arrest and handcuff Mi’kmaw fishers

Photo via APTN

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The forceful eviction of homeless people in Halifax isn’t the only occurrence of violent policing in Nova Scotia at this time, but if it wasn’t for the journalism of Angel Moore of APTN we would never know it.

Yesterday Moore reported how Mi’kmaw lobster harvesters were arrested and had their boat seized by fisheries officers on unceded and stolen territory of the Mi’kmaq Nation. 

Fishers were handcuffed, including 14-year old Drazen Meuse, who was helping his uncle and repeatedly told the officers his age. No charges have been laid, but the Department of Fisheries (DFO) told Moore that the investigation is ongoing.

You can (and should) check out Moore’s news clip here.

Earlier this month nine Mi’kmaw fishing boats had their lines cut and were set adrift, and  Chief Mike Sack of Sipekne’katik was arrested for supposedly violating the Fisheries Act. 

The right to conduct a moderate livelihood fishery is made explicit in the Peace and Friendship treaties of 1760 and 1761. Since then these rights have been recognized and protected by a variety of decisions of the Supreme Court.

Even the Marshall II decision that puts some limits on these rights requires the federal government to prove that regulation is justified for reasons having to do with conservation or other important public objectives. The feds have not even tried to make that case. 

See also: Time once again to support the Mi’kmaw fishers

Check out our new community calendar!

With a special thanks to our generous donors who make publication of the Nova Scotia Advocate possible.

Subscribe to the Nova Scotia Advocate weekly digest and never miss an article again. It’s free!