Michael William McDonald looks into the domesticated use of the groundnut (Sipekne’) by Mi’kmaq people. “Elders in Sipekne’katik were still making bread using grounded Sipekne’ roots right up till the 1980’s. In 1984 Rebecca “Noel” Pictou stated that her Grandmother would save the largest rhizome bulbs she found and then replant them closer to their dwellings along the Shubenacadie River where they would allow them to grow and flower.”
Dr. Pam Palmater interviews Chief Mike Sack of Sipekne’katik First Nation for her excellent Warrior Life Podcast and Youtube channel. Lots of information here that isn’t as readily available as it should be.
What started out as $70 million in reparations for the suffering caused by Catholic residential schools was whittled down to $16 million by the Catholic Church. Michael William McDonald, a lawyer from Sipekne’katik explains how that happened. “Compensation must be sufficient to provide healing,” he writes, “perhaps then we can find the right path to reconciliation.”
In mid-October, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) seized around 200 lobster traps from Mi’kmaq fishers in Unama’ki (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia). “It’s a struggle for them. They’re not making a lot of money, but it’s not about the money,” Bernadette Marshall told Robin Tress “It’s about the treaty right, and we’ve waited long enough.”
Robin Tress with an excellent article on the self-regulated Mi’kmaq fisheries and the RCMP: “Looking closely at the history of policing of Indigenous movements, and now the policing of the settler fishers enacting violence, intimidation, and vandalism, one thing becomes clear: When Indigenous people protest, they are considered enemies of the state. When settlers protest, they are treated as sensitive stakeholders critical to the resolution of the conflict.”
“As a researcher with expertise in fisheries science, fisheries economics and marine policy, I see no evidence the fishery will harm lobster stocks. Conservation is not at the heart of the ongoing dispute,” writes Megan Bailey,
Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Integrated Ocean and Coastal Governance, Dalhousie University.
Mercedes Peters: “We as Mi’kmaq have rights that predate the existence of Canada. And as settlers began to move into our territory centuries ago, we made treaties with them—not to create rights, but to remind settlers that we had them, to protect our rights. We are taught as Mi’kmaq, not only to be memory-holders for ourselves, but to remind Canadians who live in Mi’kma’ki of the agreements that govern our territory, and the responsibilities they have.”
Robin Tress: Clearwater Lobster is fishing on unceded, unsurrendered, stolen lands and waters of the Mi’kmaq Nation. Over the last forty years, governments have favoured corporate fishing operations like Clearwater over small scale owner-operators and Mi’kmaq fishers.
Raina Young: The violence and harassment against Mi’kmaq fishers is despicable, racist behaviour. Even more concerning is the failure of the police to stop it, revealing deeper systemic racism. Imagine if it were the other way around, and Mi’kmaq fishermen were harassing white people. Such behaviour would never be tolerated. The RCMP would step in immediately. The hypocrisy and double standards show a clear racist bias.
Close to 1000 people came together this Sunday afternoon at the Grand Parade in downtown Halifax in support of the beleaguered Mi’kmaq fishers along Nova Scotia’s French Shore.