Mi'kmaq sell lobster outside N.S. legislature, call for repeal of sale restrictions


An Indigenous group set up in front of the provincial legislature in Halifax today to sell a catch of lobster amid tension over a treaty right to fish outside of the federally designated season.

More than 100 people lined up to purchase live lobster from Mi'kmaq activist Cheryl Maloney, who was joined by others from the Sipekne'katik band.

The sale and purchase of lobster caught without a federal commercial license is considered illegal under a provincial regulation.

But Indigenous fishers argue they have a treaty-protected right to catch and sell lobster to earn a moderate livelihood, as confirmed in a 1999 Supreme Court decision.

Maloney says the province's regulations are inconsistent with the Supreme Court ruling and the Canadian Constitution, and she is calling on the province to repeal the law that prevents sale of their catch without a license.

The sale outside Province House follows weeks of tension between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers over a livelihood fishery that opened in southwestern Nova Scotia last month.