Chiefs delay signing fisheries deals

The Daily Gleaner
Thursday, March 22, 2001

MONCTON – Atlantic aboriginal chiefs say they’re not prepared to sign fishery agreements with the federal government. 

However, that could change. 

The chiefs emerged from a meeting Tuesday to announce that federal Fisheries Minister Herb Dhaliwal has until Thursday to have his legal advisers meet with native lawyers to discuss whether or not agreements are possible. 

“We are committed to finding a solution to avoid conflict on the waters or in courts,” said Chief Peter Barlow, co-chairman of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs. 

The chiefs take issue with proposed three-year agreements they characterize as a federal attempt to “assume all control on how the First Nations are to exercise their constitutionally protected right.” 

“It’s more of a case where they are telling us how we’re going to exercise our rights with no consideration of our management plans,” said Chief Lawrence Paul, congress co-chair.