Statement on the Sipekne’katik Mi’kmaw Moderate Livelihood Fishery

October 27, 2020

We, the editorial collective for the Canadian Food Studies / La Revue canadienne des études sur l’alimentation, the official journal of the Canadian Association for Food Studies / L’Association canadienne des études sur l’alimentation (CAFS/ACÉA), along with the board of the Canadian Association for Food Studies / L’Association canadienne des études sur l’alimentation (CAFS/ACÉA), are deeply concerned about the unlawful and unjust actions being taken in Nova Scotia that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the Sipekne’katik peoples.

CAFS/ACÉA is a membership-based academic association that promotes critical, interdisciplinary scholarship in the broad area of food systems. We urge the federal government to work in full support of the inherent rights and treaty rights of Mi’kmaq people to hunt, fish, and gather, as protected by Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution and as upheld by the Marshall Decision. This includes the right to a “moderate livelihood” fishery as well as to manage and prosecute that fishery with sui generis conservation and fisheries management protocols, protocols that do not inherently require endorsement or intervention by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Treaty rights are Canadian Law. Likewise, Canada is a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which protects human rights as well as numerous other rights to safety and self-determination. As such, the lack of swift federal response to the ongoing violence and intimidation toward the Mi’kmaw is thus in direct violation of Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution, which makes it the duty of Canadian provincial and federal governments to uphold and respect the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples.

We urge immediate attention to this matter, which is as much a matter of case law, constitutional law, and international law, as it is a matter of basic human decency.


Board of Directors, Canadian Association for Food Studies
Editorial Collective, Canadian Food Studies

Read the statement as a PDF here:’kmaw-Moderate-Livelihood-Fishery.pdf

La déclaration est disponible en français ici: