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A convoy of cars and trucks from the Kahnawake Mohawk community turned out Sunday afternoon in a show of solidarity with Indigenous fishers in southwestern Nova Scotia.
In the latest incident in an escalating crisis over Indigenous fishing treaty rights, a suspicious fire early Saturday morning gutted a lobster pound in which Mi’kmaw fishers in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., had been storing their catches.
The 39 vehicles, several displaying large flags including the Six Nations flag and the Warrior society flag, left Kahnawake shortly after 1 p.m. They headed along Highway 132 toward St-Constant before turning around and returning along Highway 132, then moving over to Highway 138 and returning to Kahnawake around 3 p.m.
The Kahnawake Mohawk Peacekeepers provided an escort car at the front of the convoy and another at the rear, said Constable Kyle Zachary of the Kahnawake police force.
The highways remained open, but the convoy did cause “a little bit of an intentional slowdown to draw attention to the situation,” Zachary said.
The Saturday blaze in Middle West Pubnico was set days after police confirmed two raids on lobster facilities had taken place by several hundred commercial fishers and their supporters to protest against a “moderate livelihood” lobster fishery launched by the Sipekne’katik First Nation last month, outside the federally mandated commercial season.
A Digby County man was charged on Friday after an an assault on Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack Wednesday in the midst of the ongoing dispute. On Saturday, Sack called for military support to prevent commercial fishermen from “taking the law into their own hands.”
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