We must respect the constitutional right (as confirmed by the Supreme Court) of Indigenous peoples to make a modest living from fishing.
I strongly support Chief Sack from the Sipekne'katik First Nation and his calls for self-regulation of commercial fishing by Indigenous peoples.
Indigenous peoples have been careful conservators of fish and lobster stock for hundreds of years and have shown to be responsible in guarding against overfishing. Of course, it has been the settler population - represented by greedy corporate fishing interests and mismanaged by government agencies like DFO - that has led to overfishing and the depletion of fish stocks.
I also condemn the arrest of Chief Sack, the pulling up of lobster traps by DFO, and the violence that has been directed towards indigenous commercial fishers and their boats. (I do support the recent decision by DFO to remove federal fisheries officers from areas where a Mi’kmaq fleet is harvesting lobster).
In short, you can count on me as the NDP candidate to continuously and vocally express my support for the rights of Indigenous fishers and the efforts of Chief Sack specifically. I would most certainly continue this work as an MP to ensure that the issue of "modest living" is finally defined and to help the Indigenous fisheries move toward greater self-regulation.
- Steve Schneider