All Eyes On Mi'kma'ki: Respecting Treaty Rights

Legacy Art Gallery unequivocally supports the right of Indigenous nations to assert and exercise their treaty rights.  

The Douglas treaties cover parts of Vancouver Island, including the area now known as Victoria. In these treaties, the Indigenous nations were promised the right “to fish as formerly”.  With the development and growth of industrial commercial fisheries in the 1870s, these rights began to be challenged by settler industries. The practice of Reef Net fishing was banned outright by the Canadian state in 1913.  

The practice of Reef Net fishing is deeply entwined with the cultural identity and spiritual beliefs of Straits Salish people. Communities are working hard to bring a resurgence to this practice. The ongoing work of the W̱SÁNEĆ community is highlighted in the exhibition To Fish As Formerly

Our eyes and hearts are with the Mi'kmaq lobster fishers who continue to face violence while exercising their rights. We want to express our solidarity with all Indigenous people holding the Canadian state accountable for their treaty rights.  

How you can support:  

  • Support Mi'kmaq on the frontlines directly and share their voices 
  • Call and email elected officials
  • Subscribe to Indigenous-led journalism like Ku’ku’kwes news by Maureen Googoo
  • Educate yourself and those around you
  • Find these resources and more here.