By Max Bannon
Thunder Bay – Indigenous – In Nova Scotia the Mi’kmaq, a local First Nation group, are in a dispute over treaty rights and the inherent right ensured by them. The conflict is over fishing rights and particularly lobster trapping. Local fishers have claimed that fishing cannot be done this time of year and the prior few months. While the Mi’kmaq utilize their rights, backed by local treaties that guarantees the right to fish and to maintain a moderate livelihood, there has been protest and even violent escalations as a result of the misunderstanding and ignorance to these rights.
A moderate livelihood means that the Mi’kmaq can freely fish and lobster trap because it was a way of life, and a part of their culture.
Local Confederation Students have made it their project and their goal for the semester to raise awareness about the Mi’kmaq. Donations have been raised, a video created and is in editing, and a package of goods and supplies is being prepared to be sent to the Mi’kmaq. This has been done in hopes of spreading the message about treaty rights, and to show support and solidarity to the Mi’kmaq.
While this may not directly affect you, that does not mean it does not matter. To someone else this is a way of life, and if it were us in their shoes, we would want the support too. We can hear and that may be enough, but why not go a step further and listen as well.