The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
The Honourable Stephen McNeil
The Right Honourable Marc Miller
The Honourable Keith Colwell
The Honourable Loretta Robichaud
Dear Prime Minister, Premier, and Ministers:
We write out of urgent and deep concern for the violent situation unfolding in regard to Mi’kmaw fishing in Nova Scotia. As the safety and well-being of Mi’kmaw people is 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 the 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 Rt. Rev. Susan Johnson, National of Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada
The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop
The Rt. Rev. Michael Pryse, Bishop of the Eastern Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
The Rev. Sandra Fyfe, Bishop Elect of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
The Rev. Canon Gordon Redden, Administrator of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI
The Rev. Lori Ramsey, Administrator of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI
The Very Rev. Paul W. Smith, Administrator of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI
Also please note;
"Your prayers are requested this Friday in support of an interfaith service of prayer for peace in this situation. It will be held on the Saulnierville Wharf at 2:00 p.m. The service will be led by a first nations elder. The Rev. Marian Lucas Jefferies and the Rev. Tory Byrne from our Diocese will be in attendance. Thank you."