Qalipu First Nation is part of the traditional Mi’kmaq Nation whose territory consists of Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec as well as the northeastern region of Maine, the Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland.
The Chief and Council of Qalipu have been following the events around the legal moderate livelihood Mi’kmaq fishery in Nova Scotia. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our neighbouring Chief’s for taking an important stand in defending the 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty, and the subsequent Marshall Decision upholding that Treaty. Qalipu fully supports the position of the Mi’kmaq Chiefs in Nova Scotia and the Mi’kmaq Grand Council which maintains Mi’kmaq rights to hunt, fish and earn a moderate livelihood and we stand with our Mi’kmaq neighbours in Nova Scotia in support of the 1999 Supreme Court decision.
While dispute between Mi’kmaq fishers and non-indigenous fishers is unfortunate and the aggression, unnecessary, it has never been clearer that it is time for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, to step in and bring resolution to this situation immediately. The Government must also denounce the racism that has been inflicted upon the Mi’kmaq by the non-Indigenous community. It has been 21 years since the Marshall Decision and “moderate livelihood” must be defined, and the necessary policy must be finalized through constructive discussions between the Mi’kmaq Chiefs and Canada.
Qalipu First Nation further calls on all involved to work together in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect so that a peaceful resolution can be reached which supports the rights of Mi’kmaq fishers.