Stand with Treaty 1752 Mi'Kmaq Fishers Rally, 2020


In September of 2020, Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack handed out lobster licenses to Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia, as per their right under Treaty 1752. Although he expected some resistance from commercial fishers, he did not foresee the violence to come.

According to Mi’kmaq fishers, non-Indigenous commercial fishers in Nova Scotia have made threats, cut their lines, and pulled their traps from the water. They are also reported to have formed flotillas in an attempt to intimidate Mi’kmaq boat captains back to the harbour in St. Mary’s Bay.

The conflict exploded in October when mobs destroyed two lobster pounds containing the Mi’kmaq fishers’ catch. They also pelted the buildings with rocks, and barricaded some of the Indigenous fishers inside and dumped their lobster. One of the storage facilities was burned to the ground in a manner that police said was “suspicious.”

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller described the attacks as “disgusting, unacceptable and racist.”

On October 24th, about fifty people, mostly from Barrie and Simcoe County, were brought together by the Facebook group The Leap Barrie to demonstrate their frustration and anger at the illegal acts of domestic terrorism that they feel are rooted in racism.

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Photography by John Ironside

Post-production by Tiffany Scott