NEGUAC, NB: CPT Fast Calls on Canadian Government to Honour the Treaties

May 22, 2000
NEGUAC, NB: CPT Fast Calls on Canadian Government to Honour the Treaties

"Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: To loose the chains of
injustice and
untie the cords of the yoke, To set the oppressed free and break every

Two members of Christian Peacemaker Teams will begin a twenty-four hour
fast in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans office in Neguac,
New Brunswick on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 12:00 noon. CPT is calling on
the DFO and the Canadian Government to Honour the Treaties by recognizing
the right of Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church) First Nation to fish without
Canadian interference.

Mi'kmaq fishers have repeatedly lost their traps to the illegal
confiscation practices of the DFO since the beginning of the spring lobster
season. As a response to this continued theft, CPT will conduct a fast
outside the DFO office to raise public awareness on the issues surrounding
the native fishery, and to call the DFO to responsible and just action.
"For far too long the Canadian government has dealt with the Mi'kmaq people
in a dishonourable, unjust, paternalistic and deceitful manner. We cannot
allow for the Canadian government to coerce us into signing a fishery
agreement that will lead to the future extinguishment of our Treaty rights.
Any parent would do whatever they could to protect the future well-being
of their children. That is exactly what we are doing. We are protecting
our children's and their children's future," says James Ward of
Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church).

"We recognize this conflict as not just political, but also spiritual, in
which the powers of evil are perpetrating centuries-old injustice on the
Mi'kmaq people. By fasting, we are declaring this conflict, and prevailing
on the Creator to break the spirits of domination and oppression that
dictate the DFO's actions," says CPTer William Payne.

CPT is a violence reduction project of North American Mennonite and Church
of the Brethren congregations and Friends Meetings (Quakers). Members of
CPT come from many different denominations. CPT is an organization
identified with Jesus of Nazareth and that community of people who see in
him the nonviolent Christ of prophetic expectation. CPT workers are
persons who have chosen to join the nonviolent community of Jesus Christ
and who are committed to seeking God's will in their work, worship and
decision-making. On project sites, CPT works with local partners from a
variety of spiritual traditions.

Team members William Payne and Lena Siegers will begin their vigil of
fasting and prayer at noon, Tuesday and continue until noon, Wednesday.

Contact: Lena Seigers or Janet Shoemaker at (506) 779-5886 or (506) 776-0065
Christian Peacemaker Teams is a program of Brethren, Quaker and Mennonite
Churches. CPT P. O. Box 6508 Chicago, IL 60680 tel. 312-455-1199 FAX
312-432-1213, E-Mail WEB