The Christian Science Monitor : 2020-12-07

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Canadian society, leading to shutdowns of streets and rail blockades. “First Nations in Nova Scotia see this as a time when they can assert a fuller recognitio­n of their rights than they might have received at some other time,” he says. It coincides with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s stated commitment to reconcilia­tion with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Demonstrat­ions against systematic racism also broke out in Canadian cities after the killing of African American George Floyd by a white American police officer. All this reflects a dramatic shift in support for Indigenous causes. When In- “I talked to my mom. I talked to our elders. And I was told to fish like our ancestors did. So that’s what I did.” – Marilynn-Leigh Francis, Mi’kmaw lobster fisher digenous members first tested their legal rights after the Marshall decision 21 years ago and violence erupted, locals say they can’t recall receiving any backing from nonIndigen­ous groups. Now they have allies across the country. In the wake of the fishing dispute in Saulniervi­lle, the owners of Dear Friend, a bar three hours away in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, decided to take the most popular item off the menu – the lobster roll – in support of the Indigenous cause. It was a way “to magnify the situation, but to also raise funds for front-liners, who were working at the Meteghan Wharf to promote peace on the Indigenous side,” says Matt Boyle, co-owner of the establishm­ent. Dear Friend has been joined by several other restaurant­s in Halifax, Toronto, and Montreal. Professor Newman says the lobster wars may not inspire a larger movement the way the Wet’suwet’en protest did. That was clearly seen as a “David and Goliath” fight – an Indigenous nation against Big Oil. Here their opponents are fishing families who are vulnerable in their own ways. This includes the impact from the pandemic, which has cut lobster exports to China; climate change; and, some say, the pressure of corporate interests on Canada’s only remaining community-based inshore fishery. And the environmen­tal message is murky. In its ruling, the Supreme Court noted ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP JOHN MORRIS/REUTERS THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY | DECEMBER 7, 2020 27 PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW