The New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL) supports Mi’kmaq treaty rights. Our organization also condemns the illegal efforts of non-Indigenous fishers to sabotage the inherent rights of the Mi’kmaq people to hunt, fish and gather off of the coast of Nova Scotia. This racist violence and damage to property must stop.
The NBFL has heard troubling reports that the RCMP failed to protect the Mi’kmaq people, further entrenching a relationship of distrust between Indigenous communities and law enforcement.
All levels of government have a duty to uphold the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples, as per section 35 of the Constitution, the Peace and Friendship Treaties, and relevant court decisions. Canada’s unions call on the federal government to:
- Uphold the rule of law and respect treaty rights. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans must negotiate in good faith with the Sipekne’katik First Nation representatives, to work out a reasonable solution to the fishery dispute that respects the Marshall Decision;
- Address the threats, attacks and discrimination against Mi’kmaq people; and
- Ensure the safety and security of Mi’kmaq people as they exercise their legal treaty rights.
We ask our members and supporters to act in solidarity with treaty rights holders and to call for a swift and peaceful resolution to this conflict.