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N.S. MP says non-Indigenous fishers feeling left out of talks on Mi’kmaq fishery

Members of the Sipekne'katik First Nation head from the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.
Members of the Sipekne'katik First Nation head from the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

A Conservative MP from Nova Scotia says non-Indigenous fishers are feeling left out of ongoing talks between the federal government and Mi’kmaq fishers.

Chris d’Entremont, the representative for West Nova, says non-Indigenous fishers are looking for transparency regarding decisions made about the Mi’kmaq First Nation fishery.

READ MORE: Treaty Day celebrations of the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia being marked virtually this year

Mi’kmaq fishers are asserting their treaty right, which they interpret as allowing them to fish for a moderate livelihood outside the commercial fishing season.

Non-Indigenous fishers say everyone should be held to the same rules established by the federal government, which limit lobster fishing to a specific period of the year.

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Ottawa summoned by Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen in N.S. to settle dispute – Sep 21, 2020

D’Entremont said in a recent interview the federal government has mismanaged talks and created a divide between the two groups.

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The MP also says non-Indigenous fishers are concerned about the financial impact of increased competition by Indigenous fishers.