Re: [metis] Burnt Church Rejects Lobster Fishery Proposal
- In my opinion the Band Council in Burnt Church had better start thinking about conservation matters before the world community decides that they won't buy their product. Once they decide to not buy then there won't be a market and the fishermen from Burnt Church will be out of luck. The world community has never been known to change their minds.Lobster is not considered a poor man's food. It is usually eaten by folks that have money.... have power. These people normally will pay a premium to buy products produced by Natives... If these people decide that the Burnt Church fishermen are irresponsible then they will do like what the Europeans did to wood products from British-Columbia.Most Native bands that I know of have taken control of their resources and control it's depletion. We have to make sure that we still have these resources for our children. The Burnt Church Band Council has chosen not to impose it's own regulations. This demonstrates irresponsibility. Now I've read that the people of Burnt Church are demanding that they be able to take as many lobsters as they want but the Council has to take the responsibility and impose limitations on its people in order to ensure a future for its children.----- Original Message -----From: Elaine ButlerTo: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; NativeAmerican-Issues-Chat@yahoogroups.com ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.orgSent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 3:08 AMSubject: [metis] Burnt Church Rejects Lobster Fishery ProposalBurnt Church rejects lobster fishery proposal
Band vows to fish under own rules despite federal
minister granting communal licence
CHRIS MORRIS Canadian Press
BURNT CHURCH - The Burnt Church reserve has rejected a
federal proposal for peace in the lobster fishery, setting the stage
for another season of conflict on Miramichi Bay.
Chief Wilbur Dedam and his band council said the federal offer
was too limited and failed to respect aboriginal treaty rights to
"It remains the position of Burnt Church not to enter into an
interim agreement as proposed by the federal government, but to
fish under our own fisheries management plan," Dedam said
Federal Fisheries Minister Herb Dhaliwal said in a statement from
Ottawa he is deeply disappointed that the Mi'kmaq reserve has
turned its back on the federal proposal.
"It is deeply regrettable that the Burnt Church First Nation has
now withdrawn from dialogue and I hope this is not a sign that we
are returning to another season of conflict," Dhaliwal said.
In an effort to avoid the kind of violent confrontation that rocked
the bay last year, Dhaliwal said he is issuing a communal licence
for the reserve of 1,400, good until Oct. 20.
While there were no details as to how many traps will be
permitted, the minister said fishing will be allowed only in a limited
area adjacent to the reserve. As well, the fishing is to be only for
food, not for commercial sale. Any fishing beyond those
restrictions would be illegal according to federal officials.
The band has already rejected those limitations, complaining the
area allowed for by the federal Department of Fisheries and
Oceans does not contain sufficient lobster.
Dhalwal said the restrictions will be enforced.
"We will be vigiliant in enforcing both the fishing zone and the
prohibition on commercial sale," he said.
Dedam said the native community "is not closed to talks or
discussions with the Fisheries Department concerning fisheries
"But I must insist that we are opposed to signing any federal
interim agreement which fails to respect our aboriginal and treaty
rights," the chief said.
The latest developments came just hours after non-native
fishermen cruised into Miramichi Bay to remind authorities of
their stake in the outcome of the conflict.
Lucie Breau, who fishes with her husband in nearby Neguac, said
commercial fishermen organized the flotilla of about 20 boats
Sunday night to draw attention to their situation.
"They touched nothing at all," Breau said.
"They went on the water just to say, 'We are here. We're not
dead.' This is a traditional fishery for us as well."
Mi'kmaq fishermen at the Burnt Church reserve reacted angrily to
the show of force by commercial fishermen.
Native fishermen insisted a number of traps were cut, but the
RCMP said they didn't see any damage being done.
"Well, what do the cops think those fishermen were doing out
there on a Sunday night, less than a kilometre from our shore -
chasing herring?" said an angry James Ward, one of the
architects of the band's own fisheries management plan.
"How can anything good come from what those fishermen did?
This is really setting the tone for future conflict."
Ward said the band put up barricades at its two main entrances
Sunday after it appeared the Mounties were sending in extra
officers to surround the reserve.
"We were basically under siege," he said.
The barricades were no longer being enforced late yesterday
afternoon. The RCMP maintained a heavy presence around Burnt
Church, but did not go into the reserve.
The non-native commercial fishermen want the federal Fisheries
Department to step in and end the native fall fishery once and for
Breau said the bay can't support two commercial fisheries: the
authorized season in the spring and the unauthorized native
fishery in the fall.
"For three years we have been waiting for this to be settled," she
"It's not just that we're frustrated. We feel like we have nowhere
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