“Violence will get us nowhere,” says MP Samson of fishery tensions

MP Darrell Samson, the representative for the Fall River area. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: The local MP for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook has issued a statement regarding the ongoing tension between non-native and native fisherman in Digby County.

Darrell Samson said he has been active on the file and continues to stay abreast of the events that are unfolding in the New Edinburgh area against fishers from the Sipekne’katik First Nation (Indian Brook, just outside Shubenacadie). N.S. MPs met with the Mi’kmaq Chiefs on Sept. 23to discuss the issue.

“Our government is deeply concerned about the escalating tensions in Nova Scotia’s fisheries,” said Samson in the statement, issued Oct. 15 to The Laker News. “Right now, all of us must work to promote calm and understanding.”

Samson said under the Supreme Court’s Marshall Decision, First Nations have an affirmed treaty right to hunt, fish and gather in pursuit of a moderate livelihood.

“Our government is currently in conversations with all parties to attempt to define this ruling,” he said.

Samson said the federal government will continue to work collaboratively with First Nation communities to fully implement their Treaty rights. These issues are longstanding, complex, and deeply personal to all involved.

“The best way to resolve them is through respectful and collaborative dialogue,” he said. “I am a firm believer that the most effective way to a solution is a collaborative approach and a de-escalation of tensions.”

He said the feds are in constant communication with all parties involved to come to a peaceful solution to this issue. Minister Jordan and the federal government strongly condemn the acts of violence that have taken place over the past days.

Samson said he the government is incredibly troubled by the reports of racist comments and actions made towards First Nations peoples.

“This situation can only be solved through peaceful and honest discussions between all parties involved,” he said. “Violence will get us nowhere.”

– Darrell Samson, MP.