Disputes over hunting and fishing rights have been the cause of a number of legal clashes between Indian individuals and groups on the one hand and provincial and federal authorities on the other. A conflict of this sort on the Restigouche reserve on the Gaspé Peninsula led to an armed blockade in 1981. A massive force of 400 armed provincial police descended on the reserve to enforce provincial fishing regulations and confiscate a large cache of salmon and the nets used to catch them. In a subsequent raid on the same reserve, police used tear gas and closed off the bridge that led from the reserve to the neighbouring town of Campbellton, New Brunswick. Residents of Restigouche responded with a blockade of their own, closing off the roads that led into the reserve. In this case, an agreement on fishing rights was achieved through negotiations rather than a court battle, but an accommodation was reached only after police had withdrawn from the reserve.

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Chinook Multimedia

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