TORONTO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th October, 2020) Canada's National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde called for the dismissal of the Federal police agency's Commissioner Brenda Lucki amid a conflict over lobster trapping in the province of Nova Scotia.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and its Nova Scotia division, accused of mishandling a situation that resulted in one of the country's deadliest mass casualty events in April, is under fire again after videos surfaced showing officers failing to intervene in scenes where a mob of commercial fishermen destroyed lobsters and threatened indigenous fishers.
"Given months of civil unrest and multiple issues relating to the safety of First Nations people across the country, I will be writing to Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau to express that we have lost confidence in Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Brenda Lucki," Bellegarde said via Twitter on Friday. "I am asking the Prime Minister to remove Commissioner Lucki and to replace her with someone who will focus their attention on public safety and combating racism."
Relations between Canada's indigenous community and the RCMP have plummeted over the past year, with community leaders singling out multiple confrontations as evidence of systemic bias.
The tension was further exacerbated by the alleged inaction in Nova Scotia, where commercial fishermen have been furious with a local band engaging in lobster trapping outside the federally mandated commercial season, concerned that about the impact on lobster harvesting.
While the conflict has been simmering for weeks, it reached the active phase last Tuesday when a van containing lobster catch was torched in New Edinburgh, Nova Scotia, leading to string of violent events in which an indigenous chief was assaulted in a confrontation with local commercial fishermen and the torching of a lobster facility.
The Sipekne'katik First Nation says that they are simply exercising their right to a "moderate livelihood" through hunting and fishing as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the 1999 Marshall decision.