Lobster Fishery at a crossroads

According to the book Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaq Quest for Justice, when Marshall was asked to produce his fishing licence he replied, “I don’t need a licence. I have the 1752 Treaty.” Using the lifetime pension he received as compensation from the wrongful conviction, Marshall decided to fight for his ancestral Treaty rights to hunt and fish, and eventually, after an expensive and lengthy court battle, in 1999 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in his favour. Marshall was acquitted on all the fishing charges, and the landmark ruling affirmed that the 1760 and 1761 Peace and Friendship Treaties with the British and Section 35 of the 1982 Constitution Act gave the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Peskotomuhkati people, a total of 34 First Nations in the Maritime provinces and the Gaspé region of Quebec, the right to hunt, fish and gather in pursuit of a “moderate livelihood” from the resources of the land and waters. A subsequent Supreme Court clarification, known as Marshall II, stated that conservation-based regulations would still apply. >click to read< 08:59

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