Edmonton-area residents gather to support Mi'kmaq fishermen
EDMONTON -- A rally was held in Edmonton on Saturday to show support for a Nova Scotia first nation embroiled in a lobster fishing dispute.
The group met at RCMP headquarters then marched through downtown. They played drums and carried signs to show their solidarity, and asked that Indigenous sovereignty be respected.
Five weeks ago, Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia began harvesting lobsters outside the federally regulated season, which caused tension with non-Indigenous fishermen, despite the fact that Mi’kmaq fishermen have treaty rights to fish wherever and whenever they want for a moderate livelihood.
Since that time, there have been threats, traps cut and a lobster pound burned to the ground.
“We have Indigenous fishermen in eastern Canada trying to feed their families, so the principle rights are the same,” said Chief Billy Morin of the Enoch Cree Nation. “Treaty rights are being violated. It’s not just an issue over there, it’s an issue over here, and we have to stand together.”
Dozens of people attended the rally despite the cold temperatures.