'Canada has to do better:' Montrealers protest in support of Mi'kmaq fishers

Hundreds of Montrealers came out to support Mi'kmaq fishermen in Nova Scotia on Sunday and calling on the government to protect the community.

Sisters Kaiatanoron and Waienhawi Lahache organized the demonstration, saying they wanted to bring their outrage over anti-Indigenous violence out of Kahnawake and into the city.

“It's not talked about and it's not resolved,” said Waienhawi Lahache. “Many people off of Indigenous reservations are not educated about the problems we face daily as a nation.”

The Mi'kmaq fishermen have faced attacks by non-Indigenous counterparts who allege they have been fishing for lobster in the off-season. Traps and trucks have been vandalized and a lobster storage facility was burned to the ground.

The Indigenous fishermen say they have treaty rights to earn a “moderate living” by fishing.

“Certainly their rights have to be respected and they have to be able to fish without fear,” said protester Robert Deom.

On Friday, the RCMP released a photo of two men investigators are calling persons of interest in the arson. But Ojibwe protester Ocean Lewis said police aren't doing enough.

“They're just letting the attacks go on, it just proves that it's very ignorant and very irresponsible as a government,” she said. “I feel that Canada has to do better.”

Deom said protests will continue as long as Mi'kmaq fishers are targeted.

“We want our brothers and sisters, our cousins out in Mi'kmaq territory to know we support them,” he said.  

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