Tag Archives: Donald Marshall Jr

Mi’kmaw lobster harvester will fight Canada’s reconciliation ‘death certificate’ after being charged by DFO

“I feel like I’m doing nothing wrong, and here I am. I have to go to court. I’m being treated like a criminal. It’s belittling. Craig Doucette stands accused on two counts of fishing lobster without authorization. He’s also accused of fishing lobster during a closed time, violating the Atlantic Fishery Regulations of the Fisheries Act. Doucette doesn’t dispute that he was fishing. But he contends what he did wasn’t illegal based on Peace and Friendship Treaties from the 18th century. “One-hundred-and-ten per cent: I’m not guilty,” he said. >click to read< 07:25

Sipekne’katik First Nation receives proposed moderate livelihood fishery memorandum of understanding from feds

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has sent a proposed memorandum of understanding to the Sipekne’katik First Nation regarding its moderate livelihood fishery. The band says the draft MOU is being reviewed by its lawyers before it will be shared with the public. The only detail made available so far is that it includes an acknowledgement of the band’s right to sell its catch. “This agreement has the potential to be a historic recognition of our treaty rights,,, Sipekne’katik Chief Michael Sack said in a news release Sunday morning. >click to read< 10:29

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

Potlotek First Nation celebrates Treaty Day by launching its own rights-based lobster fishery

Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton marked Treaty Day this year by launching its own Mi’kmaq-regulated rights-based lobster fishery. The celebration in St. Peters Bay on Thursday drew about 100 people and comes just two weeks after another Mi’kmaw community began operating a similar fishery in southwest Nova Scotia. Wilbert Marshall, chief of Potlotek, said launching a fishery on Treaty Day underscores the importance of the Peace and Friendship Treaties that were signed many years ago and still matter today.  >click to read< 19:05

Mi’kmaw parliamentarians call for new body to deal with conflict over lobster fishery – Three Mi’kmaw parliamentarians are proposing a new approach to the conflict over the lobster fishery in Atlantic Canada that would bypass the system in use at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. >click to read<

Feds distribute first of 322 dormant commercial fishing licences to Maritime First Nations

The federal government has started to distribute dormant, or “banked,” commercial fishing licences to First Nations in the Maritimes to finally implement a 1999 Supreme Court ruling that First Nations are entitled to earn a moderate livelihood from the fishery. The first 10 “banked licences”, out of a pool of 322 available in the Maritimes, were issued this month to Elsipogtog and Esgenoôpetitj First Nations in New Brunswick as part of historic Rights and Reconciliation Agreements signed in August 2019.,, The pool of 322 banked licences cover a wide variety of species including lobster, scallop, swordfish, herring and oysters. The total breakdown per province: 99 licences in Nova Scotia, 122 in New Brunswick and 101 in Prince Edward Island. There is a complete list,,,  >click to read< 17:34

How a 20-year-old fishery ruling has redefined First Nations relations in the Maritimes

In September, 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its ruling in the Indigenous commercial fishing case brought forward by Donald Marshall Jr. Mr. Marshall was already well-known in Canada for his mistreatment at the hands of the Canadian policing and judicial system. In this instance, however, the member of the Membertou First Nation wanted the Government of Canada to recognize the continued authority of 18th-century “peace and friendship” treaties between the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet and British authorities. >click to read< 16:56

A potent symbol of First Nations rights sat for years in DFO storage, but now it’s home

Jeff Ward was in the middle of a meeting last month in Truro, N.S., when he received a text that made him jump out of his chair.,, Sent to him was a photo of Donald Marshall Jr.’s eel nets, the same ones seized more than two decades ago when the Mi’kmaw man was charged with fisheries offences, a case that would reshape First Nations fisheries in Atlantic Canada. >click to read< 19:21