NSBS Statement Protecting the Treaty Rights to Fish and Sell for a Moderate Livelihood

As the regulator of Nova Scotia’s legal profession, the Society continues to be deeply committed to honouring the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. Prosecution. We are committed to reconciliation and responding to the TRC Calls to Action.

We acknowledge the work of the members of our Racial Equity Committee and the Truth and Reconciliation Working Group in developing this statement and their continued dedication to raising awareness of race and indigenous issues in the administration of justice.

We support efforts that ensure that Treaty Rights are protected. It has been 21 years since the landmark Marshall decision which confirmed that the Mi’kmaq have the right to fish and sell their harvest for a moderate livelihood.

Action must be taken to ensure that Treaty rights are continuously recognized and upheld.

The lack of education and understanding on matters of Treaty Rights led to where we are today, in conflict as a result of misunderstanding. We encourage all parties to come together to talk in peace and friendship. There must be meaningful dialogue in good faith to get a full understanding of the issues and to work on a plan to move forward together.

It is imperative that the public dialogue and advocacy around this issue be free from racism, harassment, hatred, and discrimination as defined under human rights legislation.

We believe it is important to reflect and work to achieve what is culturally, legally, and constitutionally protected as a right. We seek a remedy to the current situation that respects both the rule of law and cultural perspectives.

We also encourage members & the public to learn more by reading Fishing Under Netukulimk by the Eastern Door, a group of L’nu lawyers in Nova Scotia.

We must stand together in recognition and unity to ensure the protection of the right to fish and sell for a moderate livelihood is secured in the Peace and Friendship Treaties.