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Sipekne’katik band councillor, two fishermen to appear in court Monday

An Indigenous band councillor and two fishermen are due to appear today in a Nova Scotia courtroom.

Brandon Maloney is facing charges of unsafe operation of a vessel in relation to a Sept. 20 incident on the water, after a Mi’kmaq First Nation launched a self-regulated fishery in the southwest corner of the province.

Previously, Chief Mike Sack of Sipekne’katik First Nation said the band would fund a legal defence for the 34-year-old, who was fisheries manager for the First Nation at the time.

Read more: Charges laid in St. Marys Bay fishery confrontations

In a Facebook video in November 2020, Maloney said he believes the charge came from pressure on police from non-Indigenous fishermen.

“It ain’t no secret, that’s the day we tried to get the traps back off a few commercial vessels,” Maloney said in the video.

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“Every single thing is worth it to me, I wouldn’t change a single thing,” Maloney said.

Click to play video: 'Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack says band pursuing dozens of lawsuits' Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack says band pursuing dozens of lawsuits
Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack says band pursuing dozens of lawsuits – Nov 12, 2020

Shaquest Miller and Dale Wagner are also set to appear on various charges related to similar conflicts between Indigenous and commercial lobster fishers.

Police say 26-year-old Miller from Yarmouth County was also charged with unsafe operation of a vessel for an Oct. 12 incident that occurred in St. Marys Bay.

The Mounties say Wagner faces a charge related to disobeying an interim injunction prohibiting interference with the First Nation’s lobster fishery.

Sipekne’katik was granted a temporary court injunction by a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge in October. This came a week after an incident in New Edinburgh, where a crowd removed and damaged video cameras then ransacked the lobster pound and storage facility where Indigenous lobster catch was to be stored. A van at the facility was also set on fire.

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Fourty-two-year-old Wagner from Digby County is also scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

(The Canadian Press)

— With files from Karla Renic. 

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