Mi’kmaw Indigenous fishermen and supporters were terrorized recently by Nova Scotia lobster fishermen and supporters while the RCMP stood by.
Historically, the RCMP advanced colonial racists interests in Canada including by taking Indigenous land, forcing Indigenous people onto reserves, kidnapping and imprisoning Indigenous children in residential schools and outlawing potlatches and Indigenous governments.
It is naive now to expect the RCMP to protect Indigenous people – although individual officers may be different.
For years the Department of Fisheries has frustrated the Mi’kmaw Indigenous lobster fishery by failing to provide for conservation to enable the Mi’kmaw to carry out their treaty right to fish lobster for a moderate livelihood.
Many Canadians and Mi’kmaw are now calling for the Canadian government to deploy the military to protect Mi’kmaw and their supporters. But it is naive to expect the military to do any better at protecting Mi’kmaw when the government of Prime Minister Trudeau is not stepping up in other departments.
In the absence of a leader with integrity to direct federal fisheries, military and RCMP to protect Mi’kmaw lives and rights and to move to eradicate systemic racism throughout the government, individual Canadians need to continue to speak out in support of the Mi’kmaw and Indigenous rights.
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