N.S. Mi'kmaq want more than words from Ottawa in ongoing lobster conflict

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fairly difficult
A Mi'kmaq chief says he's not satisfied with the federal government's response in the ongoing conflict between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Chief Michael Sack of the Sipekne'katik First Nation said in an interview Tuesday he wants the federal government to uphold treaty rights that protect Mi'kmaq fishermen and to prevent non-Indigenous fishers from interfering with their harvest.

The long-standing dispute erupted over the weekend after about 350 lobster traps were removed by non-Indigenous fishermen in St. Marys Bay, about 250 kilometres west of Halifax. Fishers with the Sipekne'katik First Nation allege non-Indigenous fishermen vandalized their equipment and vessels.

"I'm not happy with it," Sack said in an interview Tuesday, regarding the weekend's events. "We could've lost lives. It was very rough down there."

He said the federal government hasn't done enough to protect Mi'kmaq fishers. "I still haven't seen anything official."

The Mi'kmaq are trying to assert their treaty right to fish for a moderate livelihood around St. Marys Bay during the off-season -- which runs from late May until late November. During the off-season, non-Indigenous fishermen give the crustaceans…
The Canadian Press
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