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Stand with Treaty 1752 and Mi'Kmaq Fishers rally set for Saturday in Barrie

'We are all one nation and we can’t stand around watching injustices,' says organizer of Saturday's event

A rally at Meridian Place Saturday is hoping to draw some attention to the clashes that have been occurring in Nova Scotia for over a month.

The event, Stand with Treaty 1752 and Mi'Kmaq Fishers, takes place at 12 p.m. Saturday in the downtown square. 

Back on Sept. 17, Sipekne'katik First Nation began a self-regulated lobster fishery outside the federally regulated commercial fishing season.

Despite the Mi'Kmaq being granted the right to fish for a “moderate livelihood” wherever and whenever they want as a result of a 1999 Supreme Court ruling, non-Indigenous fishers have been sabotaging traps and interfering with Indigenous catches.

Kaytlynn Mortimer-Berriault is one of the organizers of tomorrow’s event and told BarrieToday she couldn’t stand by and do nothing while seeing images on social media of Indigenous fishery buildings being set on fire.

“I’m not Mi'Kmaq, but I am Indigenous. We are all one nation and we can’t stand around watching injustices,” said Mortimer-Berriault.

The event will not be a march, but rather a meet-up at Meridian Place where attendees are encouraged to bring signs of support.

“We will be showing our signs to the cars that pass on Simcoe Street and hoping to educate anyone who isn't aware of what's happening,” said Mortimer-Berriault.

“There will likely be a couple of words spoken, some songs as well. We wanted to do this Saturday to coincide with Idle No More’s actions this week and coming up.”

This week has been a National Week of Action by Idle No More, an organization committed to protesting the Canadian government’s dismantling of environmental protection laws, endangering First Nations who live on the land.

Masks and physical distancing will be mandatory at Saturday's event and attendees are asked to dress for the elements as it will take place rain or shine.

For more information, head to the Facebook page here.

Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based in Barrie
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