Tired of harassment by Department of Fisheries (FDO) officers and tired of both the federal and provincial governments refusal to recognize treaty rights and court decisions, some 50 Mi’kmaw fishers and their allies rallied at the entrance to the DFO offices in Dartmouth.
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.
Much like last year, Mi’kmaw fishers exercising their treaty rights are once again the victims of vigilante acts by white settlers and harassment by RCMP and DFO officers.
Michael William McDonald’s extensive research into the Clans in the District of Sipekne’katik in the early 1700’s reveals the deep connection between the Mi’kmaq people and the landscape of Mi’kma’ki, the place the Mi’kmaq never ceded and have called home since time began.
The RCMP raids on cannabis shops and dispensaries in Millbrook First Nation has left the community divided, writes resident Margie Ann Cook, who argues that the store owners are merely exercising their treaty right.
On Oct. 13 last year RCMP officers stood by as 200 people interfered with Mi’kmaw fisherfolk. That mob was 200 individuals that did not appear out of thin fog. They ate their supper, put on their coats and boots and no one stopped them at the door. Fathers didn’t stop their foolish sons. Mothers turned the other way and sisters nodded to get approval. Church leaders knew. Teachers knew. Neighbors turned on neighbors whose histories are still as tangled as the fishing twine of the sinking lobster traps.
Margie Ann Cook, speaking for many Mi’kmaq women, strongly opposes the construction of a man camp housing up to 5,000 construction workers hired to build the Goldboro LNG processing facility, storage tanks and marine works in Guysborough County. This despite Pieridae’s claim of Mi’kmaq support for the project.
“I still have relationship building and learning to do around how to be a better ally, but being open to discomfort is a good start. As long as I’m living and growing on stolen land, I need to be actively working to address that fact.”
Reporter Paul Wartman speaks with Jessie and Rebecca MacInnis of the Spring Tide Farm about the complex connections between settler farmers, land, and Indigenous sovereignty.
In this second and final part of a series Lily Barraclough continues to tell the stories of some of the queer activists inside Nova Scotia’s environmental movement. Meet climate and queer rights activist Sabrina Guzman Skotnitsky and Naomi Bird, a two-spirited Cree person.
What happens when a Mi’kmaw and settler university student share car rides on their way to university and other places? They talk, and the settler learns some hard lessons. “First check your privilege. I mean really check your privilege. Ask yourself, why is your privilege so hard to see?”