– Voices from the Salmon Frontlines at the Circle at the BC Legislature. Photo: Indigenous Solidarity Working Group.
“For 30 years we have been saying ‘No!’ to fish farms, and for 30 years we have been watching salmon returns decline. My relatives have no fish in their freezers,” emphasized Sherry Moon, of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw. “Enough is enough!”
On November 2nd, Chiefs and members from the Namgis, Lawitisis, Mamalilikala and Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Gawaneuek First Nations traveled to Victoria to deliver an urgent message firsthand to the BC Legislature — Fish Farms Out Now! After meeting with Members of the Legislative Assembly, the First Nations leaders shared their stories with hundreds of supporters who formed a giant circle below the steps of the Legislature to hear the voices of the frontlines.
“The provincial and federal governments have promised to ratify the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). And yet, we have been threatened with RCMP and court injunctions. Is this what reconciliation looks like?” observed Chief Ernest Alfred.
Amidst the worst Fraser River sockeye run in history, First Nations are enforcing their sovereignty and jurisdiction by telling the governments of BC and Canada to revoke the illegal and invalid permits for these uninvited fish farms which do not have First Nations consent. Norwegian-owned fish farms operating in the Broughton Archipelago have pushed Sockeye and other native salmon populations to the brink of extinction and must be immediately removed from the marine environment. Government and industry need to work with First Nations to commit to just transition strategies for workers and communities. The timing is critical, and escalation beyond the province is imminent.
In Solidarity from Clayoquot Sound