Serpent River and Mississauga First Nation are holding a Day of Action in support of Mi’kmaw fishing rights.
A “Highway Caravan” will move along Highway 17 today where members of Serpent River and Mississauga First Nations will exchange fish “as is our inherent right of trade, self-determination, and kinship.”
Serpent River Chief Brent Bissaillion and Mississauga Chief Reg Niganobe have issued a joint statement on the Day of Action, in which they call on the federal government to address ways in which federal bureaucracy, inactivity and exclusivity kills reconciliation.
“Serpent River and Mississauga First Nations as part of the Robinson Huron Treaty 1850 supports and affirms the treaty rights of the Mi’kmaw people,” the statement reads. “Mi’kmaw, Wolastoqiyik and Passamaquoddy people have fished and hunted in Nova Scotia for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European colonizers and current settler populations confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada twice, and written in the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1706.”
The statement goes on to question how commercial fisherman in Nova Scotia have been emboldened to take the law into their own hands and why the RCMP is choosing not to enforce the rule of law.
“This is a direct consequence of attempting to eradicate, undermine, and ignore Indigenous legal systems,” it says. “Canada has failed its own people by not teaching them their own responsibilities under the Treaty and upholding the foundational treaties.”
Members of Mississauga First Nation members will begin walking from Willie’s Gas Bar at Highway 17 and West Street in Blind River.
Members of Serpent River will depart from the Lifestyle Centre on Highway 17.