`Our people are not well’: First Nation under microscope

By John Chilibeck  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Shane Ward finds the frightening footage on his phone with a few flicks of his fingers. It’s an old TV news report from Aug. 29, 2000, showing federal fisheries officers going full tilt in a big speed boat and ramming Ward’s much smaller vessel. He and two other lobster fishers from Esgenoopetitj, or Burnt Church First Nation, plunge into the water of Miramichi Bay. “I tried to throw a few bricks,” says Ward, 45, chuckling. “That’s what we were fighting for 20 years ago.” More than two decades on, Ward and others in this Mi’kmaq community of 1,240 people just north of Miramichi are saddened that the agreements signed with Ottawa since that tumultuous time to end the Indigenous fishing dispute haven’t benefited…

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