Indigenous conflict in Nova Scotia: four fishermen arrested after gunfire at sea
While the situation remains tense in Nova Scotia between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announces that they have arrested four men in connection with gunshots fired at sea on Sunday evening near a reserve. mi’kmaq.
According to RCMP information, a fisherman was alone in his boat off the northern Aboriginal community of Pictou Landing when he overheard another group of fishermen throwing lobster traps into the water.
The man then approached the boat in question, which then accelerated in his direction. Crew members allegedly fired, but the fisherman was not hit and was able to return to port, according to the RCMP.
A 51-year-old man surrendered to the police smoothly the same evening.
Federal police arrested three other men in connection with this story on Monday.
The RCMP maintain that this was an isolated event, but it was part of a series of violent incidents targeting facilities used by native fishermen in the area.
Last October, a suspicious fire ravaged a lobster factory in southern Nova Scotia that did business with First Nations fishermen. A few days before, this factory had been vandalized by non-native fishermen.
The conflict rages between the two groups because a Supreme Court ruling allows the Mi’kmaq to fish for lobster outside of the fishing season as long as it is a “decent livelihood”. a term that has never been clearly defined by the court and which opens the door to unfair competition, according to industry players.
A local newspaper, the “Chronicle Herald”, revealed Monday that the person who escaped the gunfire Sunday night near Pictou Landing was indeed a Mi’kmaq fisherman.
For the latter, the motive of the attackers is not in doubt.
“I told myself that I could have died, that I could have been hurt. But for my people to fish in peace, I was ready to take a bullet, ”Gary Denny recalled in an interview on Monday.