Let the natives run fishery, Ottawa told

The Toronto Star
Thursday, May 18, 2000

MONCTON, N.B. (CP) - A coalition of social and environmental groups wants the federal government to allow a New Brunswick aboriginal reserve to manage its lobster fishery.

Spokespeople representing 28 organizations faxed Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Fisheries Minister Herb Dhaliwal yesterday urging them to ''recognize the legitimacy of (fishing) tags issued by the Burnt Church band. "

The resolution also called on Ottawa to stop using a heavy-handed approach in enforcing federal fisheries rules on natives at Burnt Church.

''It's been a confrontational type of approach . . . (and) I don't think this is the way to deal with the situation," said Marc Spence, spokesman for the Tantramar Environmental Alliance.

The reserve, located north of Miramichi, claims it has a right to manage its own fishery under a Supreme Court of Canada ruling last fall.