A Digby man has been charged with assaulting Chief Michael Sack on Oct. 14.
Meteghan RCMP have charged Chris Gerald Melanson, 46, with assault in relation to the incident that occurred in New Edinburgh near St. Mary's Bay. Melanson was arrested on the evening of Oct. 16 and has been released from custody on conditions.
"The Nova Scotia RCMP will continue to take steps to ensure that those who unlawfully interfere with or threaten the safety of any person or property may be held accountable in accordance with the laws of Canada," says the news release.
Sack was elected as the chief of Sipekne'katik First Nation in 2016.
Since Sept. 15, tensions have been rising between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers in southwestern Nova Scotia.
Non-Indigneous fishers have been intimidating Mi'kmaw fishers through tactics such as removing Indigenous lobster traps and creating barricades. This is because Mi'kmaw fishers are fishing lobster before the federally designated season starts.
The non-Indigenous fishers claim this is illegal and will hurt the upcoming lobster-fishing season which, in St. Mary’s Bay, doesn’t start until the last Monday of November.
However, Mi'kmaw fishers say it's their treaty-protected right to catch and sell lobster to earn a "moderate livelihood" according to the 1999 Marshall Case.
The RCMP says the investigation is ongoing. Melanson is scheduled to appear in Digby Provincial Court Dec. 21 at 9:30 a.m.
It asks anyone with information to contact Meteghan RCMP at 902-645-2326. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca or use the P3 Tips App.