(Halifax) The man appointed by the federal government to mediate conflict between native and non-native fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia says his priority would be to reduce tensions in the region.
Allister Surette was appointed on Friday to communicate with indigenous fishermen from Sipekne’katik First Nation and their non-indigenous partners who operate in Sainte-Marie Bay.
Mr. Surette is the president and vice-chancellor of the Universe Sante-Anne, a French-language institution based in Church Point, Nova Scotia, from where the two nations were no more than the first nation’s new self-regulated shrimp fishery.
The launch of this fishery led to violent protests and allegations of vandalism. A building where the lobsters were stored was set on fire last weekend at the Pubnico-Ouest-le-Center.
Mr. Surete says he hopes to find common ground between the two groups.
He has already served as a facilitator to resolve conflicts between fishermen from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Magdalen Islands.
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