October 21, 2020
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) sends solidarity and supports the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq’s right to harvest and sell fish for a moderate livelihood, as per the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760/61. The over 250-year-old agreement was reaffirmed as a constitutional right by the Supreme Court of Canada through the Marshall decisions of 1999.
The OFL condemns the escalating violence, destruction and angry mob attacks on Indigenous fishing pounds. The hatred, racist violence, intimidation, and vigilantism must stop.
As noted by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, “the federal government has had 21 years to work with the Mi’kmaw Nation to address the Mi’kmaq fishery treaty rights to fish for a moderate livelihood.” The OFL joins the “call on the federal government, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and the Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, to protect Mi’kmaw fishers exercising their treaty rights.”
Further, the Ontario Federation of Labour calls on the federal and provincial governments, both responsible for preventing further violence and restoring peace and safety for Indigenous fishers, to take immediate action to de-escalate the situation. Learn more about Mi’kmaq’s treaty rights and take action in solidarity with Mi’kmaw treaty rights holders, visit: https://bit.ly/3o3VAIN.