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// Films // In The Same Boat?

In The Same Boat?

Martha Stiegman & Sherry Pictou / Canada / 2007 / 40 ' / English


Martha Stiegman
Martha Stiegman
Anthu Vu
Andrea-Jane Cornell
Terry Farnsworth and Friends
Martha Stiegman & Sherry Pictou
Bear River First Nation
Editing Consultants: Frédéric Moffet, Liz Miller, Gwynne Basen
Color Correction: Anthu Vu
Story Consultants: Arthur Bull, John Kearney, Terry Farnsworth
Title Design: Mél Hogan
Archival materials used with permission of: Christian Peacemaker Team in Canada & Esgenoôpetitj / Burnt Church community members, Mi'kmaq-Maliseet Nations News, Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, Nova Scotia Museum, The Toronto Star, World Forum of Fisher Peoples
Additional footage from: One More Dead Fish

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Canadian fisheries are in crisis; they have been for more than a decade.


Two neighboring fishing communities – one Mi’kmaq, the other non-native - both struggling to defend their ways of life.

Shot on Nova Scotia’s legendary Bay of Fundy, In the Same Boat? explores the common ground between indigenous and non-native communities, while showing the very different role fishing plays in both cultures.

Part One, The End of the Line, is a portrait of Terry Farnsworth, the last handliner on the Bay of Fundy. Handlining is the most ecological fishing technology around. It was the foundation of the rural economy in this part of the country; and for Terry, it’s a vocation. These days, most fishing licenses have been bought-up by big companies. As fish stocks plummet, will Terry be forced off the water?

Part Two, In Defense of our Treaties, follows the struggle of Bear River First Nation as they stand up to pressure from the Department of Fisheries (DFO) to sell their treaty rights for a ticket into the commercial fisheries. For the Mi’kmaq, fishing is a right that comes from the Creator, and is protected by the Treaties. In 1999, the Supreme Court recognized those rights, and DFO has signed agreements with 32 of the 34 First Nations in the region. The deals offer money to buy into the commercial fisheries, as long as the Mi’kmaq fish under DFO’s jurisdiction. That's not good enough for Bear River, one of two communities refusing to sign.


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