July 17th, 2024

Indigenous leader makes plea for unity among B.C. First Nations to save wild salmon

By The Canadian Press on June 21, 2024.

Indigenous dancers perform the Salmon Dance on Indigenous Peoples Day at the Mungo Martin House in Thunderbird Park, in Vancouver, Friday, June 21, 2024. The dancers and Indigenous elders were celebrating wild salmon and the recent federal government decision to ban open net-pen salmon farms in B.C. waters in June 2029. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner

VICTORIA – Indigenous dancers have circled a fire inside Victoria’s Mungo Martin House in a celebration of wild salmon on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Members of the Namgis First Nation from the Alert Bay area of northern Vancouver Island gathered at the traditional long house to honour their deep connections to the fish.

Eighty-two-year-old Hereditary Chief Chris Cook says he remembers years ago when local rivers and streams were so full of wild salmon he could almost walk across their backs.

He says he and the Namgis hope the days of plentiful wild salmon will return after the federal government this week said it would ban open net-pen fish farms in B.C. waters by 2029.

Cook is pleading for unity among B.C. First Nations to rebuild wild salmon stocks.

More than 100 B.C. First Nations say they support the removal of open net-pen salmon farms, but about two dozen First Nations operate such farms and oppose their closure.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2024.

Share this story:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments