My name is Cheryl Maloney, I am a Mikmaq women, mother of four sons and one daughter, all treaty beneficaries of the 1752 Mikmaq Treaty. Four years ago I bought a 150k dollar fishing boat with a band commitment for crab access for life of my loan, my dream was that within six years of this commitment
I would have access to a moderate livelihood arrangement under our Treaty and affirmed at the Supreme Court of Canada. Unfortunately, the federal crown has refused to implement our rights in their laws. In fact, Bill C-45 actually goes on and defines 'Aboriginal Fisheries" without any mention or acknowledgement of the Mikmaq Treaty right to fish for a moderate livelihood.
The Constituion of Canada under s. 35 protects and affirms the existing aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. The Supremacy clause under S.52 of the Constitution states that anything that goes against the Consittuion of Canada has no force or effect. Therefore, Bill C-45 is in direct conflict with the Mikmaq Peoples right to fish for a moderate livelihood. I am,therefore, going out on the water as a Mikmaq woman with my sons to fish crab on opening day of the Area 24 season. I have sought legal advice and we are working on the necessary conditions to enter the fishery in safe and managed way respectful of the Aboriginal responsibility of stewardship. I will need support of my people and all warriors, as the past Lobster wars on the east coast brought out both DFO and RCMP and racism at its finest.
I personally have never given authority to the Indian Act Chief and Council the authority or mandate to manage my Treaty rights. In fact, the community of Indian Brook voted against the acceptance of any licensing system that would allow Indian Act Chiefs and DFO to comprimise our rights. Therefore, I will seek advice from the Mikmaq Grand Council, the matriachs of our Nation and my elders on my assertion of rights. Finally, The KMK negotiating table has also never been voted upon by the Mikmaq Nation to discuss and comprimise these rights. By law, the Nation based rights of the Mikmaq are held by the Mikmaq and the false assumptions that the exisiting Indian Chiefs have inherent authorities to represent and negotiate rights is flawed in Canadian and Mikmaq law. The mandate and powers of Indian Act Chiefs lies in the authorities given to them under the Indian Act. Therefore, there is a fundamental inconsistency with law and the current approach to negotions being carried out in the Province of NS and across Canada. So, please join my event page and share. I will also need protectors on the wharf and in the waters when I go fishing.
I will also need legal warriors to assist. Dropping date to be confirmed, but it is expected to be mid April.