Covid Journal, October 17, 2020
Intentional Attack on Mi’kmak Lobster Plant?
In this case, ‘someone’ may have torched a lobster production facility used by the local First Nations people.
Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack confirmed in a text message to CBC early Saturday morning that “it’s the one in Pubnico that some of our people were dealing with.”
RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce confirmed that police were also at the scene. He said if the fire is deemed suspicious, police will investigate it alongside the fire marshal’s office.
In a tweet, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said his office has reached out to the RCMP and the federal government to “express First Nations’ deep concern.”
“I demand a full and thorough investigation by the proper authorities,” he said.
This has to stop before it gets worse. Right now, I’m sure the Mi’kmak are showing considerable restraint.
The main question that comes to my mind is why this isn’t considered a terrorist attack.
Next, when it comes to First Nations rights to harvest or collect natural resources, Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution states clearly that:
(1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.
(2) In this Act, “Aboriginal Peoples of Canada” includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
(3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) “treaty rights” includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.
How to solve the problem?
Here’s what Canada needs to do in response to this event:
- Issue an apology to the Mi’kmak people.
- Work with them to build a facility that the Mi’kmak people will own 100% without public interference.
- Arrest and punish to the full extent of the law anyone involved with arson or what might be perceived as an act of terrorism.
If the Canadian government and the RCMP and other local authorities don’t respond swiftly, they risk allowing issues to boil over.