Going back in the water: renegotiating what it means to be a Mi'kmaq fisherman after the Marshall decision Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Fox, Gretchen Elizabeth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology
  • After centuries of struggle with the Canadian state over access to natural resources, Mi'kmaq First Nations recently won a significant legal victory. In a 1999 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld 18th century treaties guaranteeing Mi'kmaq and their descendents the right to fish for profit in their traditional territories. This landmark ruling fundamentally reconfigured the landscapes where conflicts over Native rights and nature are waged. As a result, Mi'kmaq communities today are experiencing shifts in personal and collective constructions of meaning, practice and identity in the context of fisheries. Some community members advocate communally-based fisheries where profits are re-invested in the community, while others are approaching commercial fisheries in more individualistic ways. This paper explores the local and supralocal conditions under which Mi'kmaq people are relating to changes in the fisheries, drawing on social practice theory to consider how fishermen's identities are being reshaped through contentious practices and meaning-making.
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  • Holland, Dorothy
  • Open access

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