Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice would like to affirm and extend our support and solidarity to the fishers and community of Sipekne’katik First Nation in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia).
For weeks, settler commercial fishers in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) have targeted fishers of Sipekne’katik First Nation. Attacks on Mi’kmaq fishers have included violent confrontations at the wharf of the self-regulated fishery in Weymouth, lobster traps being removed in St. Mary’s Bay and lobster pounds being ransacked, as well as violent rock-throwing, threats and vehicle fires. Most recently, a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico holding the catch of Mi’kmaq fishers was burnt down. These acts of violence are intentional and genocidal.
Intervention from the RCMP and local police has been minimal. This inaction protects crimes perpetrated by settler vigilantes. This is settler-colonial violence.
Mi’kma’ki is unceded territory, and the Mi’kmaq have ancestral and treaty rights to harvest on their waters — an activity that has been practiced since time immemorial. The right of Mi’kmaq peoples to hunt, fish and gather year-round for a moderate livelihood is a constitutionally protected treaty right as per the 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty. RCFJ stands behind, and echos all calls for the Canadian state to uphold Mi’kmaq treaty rights. It is unacceptable for governments to be complicit as blatant acts of racism and violence are perpetrated against Mi’kmaq peoples. We extend our unequivocal solidarity and support to the fishers and the entire community of Sipekne’katik First Nation in Mi’kma’ki in protecting their sovereignty and self-determination.
[IMAGE: Created by Jordan Bennett, Mi’kmaq artist from Stephenville Crossing, Ktaqamkuk]