DIGBY, N.S. – The Mounties say a Christmas Day fire at an Aboriginal-owned lobster pound in southwestern Nova Scotia is considered to be an arson.
Const. Jennifer Clarke said the fire marshal’s office has been called in to probe the blaze in St. Bernard, northeast of Digby.
The Indigenous news site Ku’ku’kwes News has reported that the property belongs to Alex McDonald, a band councillor from Sipekne’katik First Nation.
There have been tensions in the area over the Indigenous ceremonial and food fisheries, and two non-Aboriginal men were charged in the fall with threatening Indigenous fishermen online.
McDonald, who was unavailable for comment after attempts to reach him by email and telephone, has seen his lobster business damaged by fire in the past.
The fisherman’s boat was stolen and burned in October, and at the time McDonald said he believed the vessel was targeted because he is Aboriginal.
He also has said he gets along well with non-Indigenous lobster fishermen in the area and he didn’t believe any of them were to blame.
McDonald has said he thinks someone is trying to create trouble — noting that a dry-docked, non-Aboriginal fisherman’s boat was also burned in Weymouth North, N.S., in October.