Undaunted by the appeal court ruling, the Fisheries Survival Coalition vowed to continue its fight for the rights on non-Aboriginal fishermen. "I suspect we're going to the Supreme Court of Canada," said a defiant Phil Eidsvik, a Coalition spokesperson and failed Tory candidate in the last federal election.
The claim is that this is a 'Race-based' Fishery, thereby unconstitutional in Canada.
The Supreme Court says, 'Look, they're Indians, OK?', opening up the appearance of a race based decision.
I certainly don't blame these folks for being upset at the unfairness or any advantage they may perceive here. Mind you, this argument would then mean that 90% of Canadian jobs, education, life expectancy and social incluision are race based, in favour of non-Indian people...
What is true is that the First Nation people have traveled and fished there for at least ten thousand years; traded fish amongst themselves; traded fish with the European and Chinese explorers who arrived earlier; were excluded racially; and Fish has been central to coastal and river communities forever.
But, there's another detail needing to be dredged up here.
An important one:
- Just because you're an Indian doesn't mean you're an 'Indian' -
Sound crazy? Welcome to the kaleidoscopic world of the Canadian Indian!
See, here in Canada, there are two types of Indian: Status and Non-status.
If you are a registered, Status Indian, you qualify for the dwindling list of supportive commitments made by the CDN government, a while ago.
Your parents or grandparents went to Mission School and never really recovered from the experience. You are probably pissed off and depressed.
If you are Non-status, you get all the hassle of being Native with none of the benefits. You are probably pissed off and depressed.
I personally know people who are full blooded Cree or Okanagan but are not recognized by the government as such. In fact, I am related to several of these individuals.
I am, myself, blessed with recognition.
So, anyway, what I want to say here, is that this cannot be a race based issue, because many 'Indians' in this country would be unable to fish at all in British Columbia because of their Non-status bearing in the country.
Whenever I hear someone say they wish they were born Indian, I always have to ask, 'Status or Non-status?'
The usual response is, "Huh?. What do you mean 'status'?"
I'm no longer disappointed by Canadians' lack of respect for history.
You want to talk about racism in the BC Fishery?
The Native Brotherhood is recognized as Canada's oldest active Native organization and is a senior BC fishing organization. It was formed in 1931 due to the exclusion of Aboriginals from the lucrative waters of traditional coastal inhabitants.
This is not a racial issue.
It's a constitutional issue.