HALIFAX / K’JIPUKTUK – Ecojustice condemns the violent and destructive acts of racism against Mi’kmaq fishers and their property, and supports members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation as they exercise their right to earn a moderate livelihood through fishing.
Devon Page, Ecojustice executive director, issued the following statement today:
“The racist rhetoric and violent acts settler Canadians have committed under the guise of conservation against Mi’kmaq peoples in recent weeks, in particular toward members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation, are abhorrent.
“Ecojustice strongly supports the Mi’kmaq’s exercise of their constitutional and Treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood by fishing. Experts agree that this single, Indigenous-run fishery does not pose a threat to species conservation.
“The law clearly states that the Mi’kmaq have a right to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing in these waters.
“The Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s delay in defining a moderate livelihood has certainly added to the tensions we see today. Ecojustice calls on DFO to support the Mi’kmaq in their efforts to establish a moderate livelihood fishery.
“The events in Nova Scotia are the latest in a long history of how settler Canadians have used concepts of law and conservation as a smokescreen for intolerance and to justify attacks on Indigenous Peoples and their rights.
“This behaviour is not new and it must stop. We can no longer tolerate carrying out acts of racism in the name of conservation.”
Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, innovative public interest lawsuits lead to legal precedents that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.