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Nov. 01 2013
Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick is the flashpoint for a new conflict between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians over natural resource development. Protesters, many of them native, have engaged in violent clashes with the police over fracking for shale gas.
Those with long memories often put Elsipogtog in the same sentence with Burnt Church, another New Brunswick community riven 15 years ago by violence between natives and non-natives over natural resources, in that case the fishery. But few have bothered to find out about the tremendous success story that is the East Coast aboriginal fishery that emerged from Burnt Church, and the Supreme Court of Canada’s Marshall decision that preceded it. Out of violent confrontation emerged a modus vivendi that is a model for the country.