Nova Scotia First Nation chief angered by shooting over lobster fishery

Chief Andrea Paul, of the Pictou Landing First Nation, attends a meeting of stakeholders as they respond to Northern Pulp’s Focus Report Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The chief of a Nova Scotia First Nation said her small Indigenous community is reeling after shots were allegedly fired at a lobster harvester off the province’s northern coast.

Chief Andrea Paul of Pictou Landing First Nation said in an interview Tuesday members of the band were dealing with “mixed emotions” in the aftermath of Sunday’s shooting.

“It was shocking because we know who these people are and we fish together during the season,” Paul said. “I was quite shocked and then I was quite angry.”

READ MORE: N.S. RCMP arrest 4 in connection with shots fired at Pictou Landing fisherman

The chief said the man who was allegedly shot at on the waters of the Northumberland Strait is Garry Denny, a member of the Pictou Landing community. Paul took to Facebook Tuesday to say non-Indigenous fishers had not objected when her community announced in September it would be fishing for lobster.

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Indigenous and commercial fishers have been in a heated conflict for months following the creation of a self-regulated Indigenous lobster fishery in the southwestern part of the province, which operates outside the federally regulated season.

Paul said Denny was allegedly shot at as he attempted to confront the crew of a fishing vessel that appeared to be pulling his lobster traps from the water.

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RCMP said the crew in the fishing vessel accelerated toward the Indigenous man and fired shots in his direction. No injuries were reported. Four men from Pictou County have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Paul called for the men to face consequences for their “criminal actions” against the Indigenous fisher.

RCMP spokesman Sgt. Andrew Joyce said Tuesday he had no new information about the incident.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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