A Canadian First Nation has called off Treaty talks with the Federal Government after negotiations broke down.
Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack said the Canadian Government had not been negotiating in good faith regarding the First Nation’s moderate livelihood fishery.
“They’re trying to cap our rights, right off the get go and they have no right to do so, it’s not [a] very good move on Canada’s part and just a dirty move in my mind,” Slack told APTN News.
Exercising their Treaty rights, the First Nation launched their moderate livelihood fishery in September but were met with violence by non-Indigenous fishers who say the fishery is illegal, despite a Supreme Court ruling saying otherwise.
Commercial industry representatives have been vocal in their opposition to the livelihood fishery, saying it’s illegal and unauthorised as it’s not regulated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
He said Treaty rights were non-negotiable for he and his people and that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were trying to combine moderate livelihood fisheries with commercial fishing licences just as the commercial lobster fishing season began in St Mary’s Bay of southwestern Nova Scotia.
Chief Sack said any future talks must be based on a mutual respect for Treaty rights.
Sipekne’katik fishers will continue to fish until the season ends next week.
By Hannah Cross