Eric Plummer

DFO minister visits fish farms, sticking to transition plan

As uncertainty hangs over aquaculture on the B.C. coast, Canada’s fisheries minster visited Vancouver Island fish farms last week, armed with a mandate to transition open net pens out of the ocean by 2025.

But a coalition of First Nations advocating to keep salmon farms in their territories informed Joyce Murray, the visiting minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, that they will continue to operate according to their Aboriginal rights, regardless of what the government decides.

Dynamics of buoyancy, teamwork and local First Nations lessons incorporated into high school project

When entering another nation’s territory by canoe, it was critical to ask permission to land before coming to shore.

This is part of the explanation given by Tseshaht member Robert Watts to a large group of high school students, who came to the water for the final section of a multi-disciplinary learning unit on the science of buoyancy, teamwork and cultural identity.

‘One less Indigenous girl in care’ from court ruling points to need for more family initiative

A court ruling has put a young Tseshaht girl into the custody of her grandparents, moving one Indigenous child out of foster care, while thousands remain in a system that is being compared to the removal of children during the residential school era.

Judge Alexander Wolf cited the decision as an example of what needs to happen more if the number of Indigenous children in care are to decline, an issue that is particularly relevant on Sept. 30, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Nuchatlaht return to court for final arguments in title case

The Nuchatlaht return to court today, for the final arguments in the first Aboriginal title case since the provincial government passed into law an act recognizing the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples.

After a summer away from the courtroom legal teams representing the small Vancouver Island First Nation and the province return to the B.C. Supreme Court, where Justice Eliot Myers is scheduled to hear the final arguments over the next three weeks.

Cross-territorial canoe journey undertaken for traditional marriage

Canal Beach was full of Nuu-chah-nulth-aht on Sunday, as about 300 witnessed a traditional marriage proposal that came after a 16-hour canoe journey from Tofino.

Wesley Frank ventured into Tseshaht territory on Sept. 18, landing at Canal Beach at the south end of Port Alberni to meet Kyra Sam and her large family. Frank came with family and friends who paddled two canoes the day before down from Esowista and up the Alberni Inlet to China Creek Marina, which is located south of Canal Beach.

Chinook run yields healthy returns in Somass River

In mid September Tseshaht and Hupacasath fishers were casting their nets in the Somass River, taking advantage of the last days of a large chinook salmon run.

In recent years Fisheries and Oceans Canada has stressed the growing challenges facing Pacific salmon. The department’s 2019 State of the Canadian Pacific Salmon report stressed the environmental impacts of a warming climate on the fish, which normally thrive in cooler waters. The report stated that chinook are declining throughout their range, while some southern B.C. sockeye populations face imminent extinction.

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