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Mi’kmaq chief says ‘historic’ deal on moderate livelihood fishery may be reached

Click to play video 'Why the term ‘moderate livelihood’ is at the centre of N.S. fishery dispute' Why the term ‘moderate livelihood’ is at the centre of N.S. fishery dispute
What does it mean to fish for a “moderate livelihood”? That’s the question at the centre of the dispute between Indigenous harvesters and commercial fishermen that has led to an escalation of violence targeting Mi’kmaw fishermen in Nova Scotia. – Oct 22, 2020

A Nova Scotia First Nation says it has received a draft agreement on a “moderate livelihood” fishery, which it calls a potentially groundbreaking recognition of Indigenous treaty rights in Canada.

The chief of Sipekne’katik First Nation says he is reviewing a draft memorandum of understanding he received from the office of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan late Friday.

READ MORE: Why the term ‘moderate livelihood’ is at the centre of N.S.’s fishery dispute

Mike Sack says the Sipekne’katik Treaty Fishery has the potential to be a “historic recognition” of treaty rights, as it would allow the Mi’kmaq community to legally sell their catch.

Mi’kmaq fishers faced violence and vandalism last month after launching a rights-based fishery in southwest Nova Scotia.

The attacks prompted widespread condemnation and calls for clarification on Mi’kmaq treaty fishing rights.

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Sack says the agreement would make good on the Supreme Court of Canada’s recognition of Indigenous treaty rights in its landmark 1999 Marshall decision.

The ruling affirmed the Mi’kmaq treaty right to fish for a “moderate livelihood,” though it was later clarified by the court that the federal government could regulate the fishery for conservation and other limited purposes.

Click to play video 'Local biologist says indigenous-run fisheries won’t affect conservation efforts' Local biologist says indigenous-run fisheries won’t affect conservation efforts
Local biologist says indigenous-run fisheries won’t affect conservation efforts – Oct 22, 2020