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

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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