Anglican and Lutheran leaders call for government intervention in Mi’kmaw fishing crisis

October 21, 2020

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada

The Honourable Marc Miller, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services, Government of Canada

The Honourable Stephen McNeil, M.L.A.
Premier of Nova Scotia

The Honourable Keith Colwell, M.L.A.
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Province of Nova Scotia

Ms. Loretta Robichaud
Deputy Minister, Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture


Dear Prime Minister, Premier, Ministers, and Deputy Minister:

As the safety and well-being of Mi’kmaw people is are threatened, their fundamental human rights—embodied in the Friendship Treaty of 1752, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the 1999 affirmation of their Treaty Rights in the Marshall Decision—are minimized, ignored, or denied. The denial of the full humanity of the Mi’kmaw people by those who refuse to recognize these treaty obligations is at the base of this hatred and violence. Anything that is less than an urgent response by those who share in the protection of these rights risks a complicity in a great evil.

The honour and character of Nova Scotia and Canada are at stake. If Indigenous justice is not possible in this instance, a basic commitment to an ideal of truth and fairness is demonstrably absent. The moral integrity of Nova Scotia fisheries is at stake. If the well-being of the industry is premised on injustice, there is no way that it can receive or sustain the respect and commerce of people concerned about truth.

We understand that all parties have expressed both the need and willingness to consult about a livable and sustainable future for all involved in these matters. In pursuit of this, we make the obvious point that Mi’kmaw people must be protected. We also wish to underline that without a foundational concern for Indigenous human rights and justice, no real solution is possible. You have the ability and responsibility to act towards a just and equitable solution to this crisis. We ask that you intervene immediately in this situation to provide safety for all and to counteract the violence and terror being experienced by the Mi’kmaw people yet again as they live out their sovereign rights on their lands and waters.

We pray for your well-being as you pursue these matters. We pray for the well-being of justice and the full recognition of human rights in our Land. May the God who is the sovereign of Creation and history aid you all to articulate and fulfill the truth and goodness that is surely the calling of this Land.


The Most Rev. Linda Nichols
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, the Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Michael Pryse
Bishop of the Eastern Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Rev. Sandra Fyfe
Bishop-elect, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

The Rev. Canon Gordon Redden
Administrator, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

The Rev. Lori Ramsey
Administrator, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

The Very Rev. Paul W. Smith
Administrator, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island


Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .