Marshall-Tabor “frustrated” with Millbrook appealing human rights ruling

Stacey Lee Marshall-Tabor won a Canadian Human Rights complaint in 2015 against the Millbrook First Nation, N.S./Photo by Stephen Brake

Stacey Lee Marshall-Tabor says she’s frustrated the Millbrook First Nation is appealing a 2015 Canadian Human Rights tribunal decision that ruled the First Nation discriminated against her because she is a woman.

Millbrook is seeking a judicial review of the tribunal’s decision that found the First Nation discriminated against her by denying her an opportunity to serve as a captain on a lobster fishing boat in 2008.

“After all these years, from the initial time I started that complaint, I’m still a deckhand,” Marshall-Tabor, 44, says.

“I’m still fishing lobster. I’m still, you know, trying to get as many hours as I possibly can for (Employment Insurance),” she said.

“I’m no better (off) than I was back in 2007.”

Lawyers for both the Millbrook First Nation and Tabor-Marshall appeared before the Federal Court of Canada in Halifax last week.

Millbrook wants Justice Keith Boswell to set aside the tribunal’s two decisions regarding Marshall-Tabor. The first decision dealt with the discrimination complaint. The second decision found the Millbrook First Nation retaliated against Marshall-Tabor for filing the initial discrimination complaint.

Lawyers for Millbrook have asked Justice Boswell to either dismiss the decisions or order a new Human Rights tribunal to hear the complaints again. Tabor-Marshall’s legal team want the tribunal’s decisions to stand.

Justice Boswell will issue his decision at a later date.

Lawyers for the Millbrook First Nation declined to comment on the case while it is still before the courts.

Tribunal finds Millbrook discriminated against Marshall-Tabor

In April 2015, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Marshall-Tabor was discriminated against when the Millbrook First Nation chose another candidate to serve as captain on a lobster boat during the 2008 fishing season. The tribunal agreed with Marshall-Tabor’s claim that she was denied the captain’s position because she is a woman.

The tribunal also ruled that Marshall-Tabor’s situation “is a reflective of a larger practice within Millbrook’s fishery of depriving women employment opportunities to fish.”

In July 2015, the tribunal ruled the Millbrook First Nation retaliated in two instances against Marshall-Tabor for filing the complaint against the First Nation.

In the first instance, the tribunal found the First Nation interfered with her position when she was hired for a fisheries research position with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs in June 2008. At the time, then Chief Lawrence Paul, stated the First Nation would not participate in the fishery study if Marshall -Tabor was part of the research team. The late chief’s position resulted in her losing her position on the project.

In the second instance, the tribunal agreed with Marshall-Tabor’s claim the Millbrook First Nation retaliated against her by denying “her travel funds to take a job exam in Halifax when it usually pays for this cost.”

“I’m worried I’m being lined up for failure.” – Marshall-Tabor

At the moment, Marshall-Tabor is working as a deckhand on the lobster boat, The Chief Rachel Marshall, in Caribou near Pictou, N.S. for the Millbrook First Nation. She is also scheduled to work in the snow crab fishery for the First Nation in the near future.

“They seem to be somewhat cooperative,” Marshall-Tabor says. “I mean, right now, this season, yes.”

However, Marshall-Tabor says she feels there may be repercussions for speaking publicly about the current court case.

“I’m worried I’m being lined up for failure,” Marshall-Tabor says. “That whatever happens on the boat, there’s going to be people saying that I did the exact opposite.”

“I’m expecting some kind of negativity, especially in my performance,” she says.

In spite of that, Marshall-Tabor says she’s trying to remain positive about her case.

“With the appeal going on right now, I’m pretty confident the Human Rights tribunal, their decision is going to be upheld,” she says.

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About Maureen Googoo 270 Articles
Maureen Googoo is an award-winning journalist from Indian Brook First Nation (Sipekne'katik) in Nova Scotia. She has worked in news more than 30 years for media outlets such as CBC Radio, the Chronicle-Herald and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Maureen has an arts degree in political science from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.