Wild Salmon Is Our Lifeblood

Press Release
February 18, 2010

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, February 18, 2010) Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs stated today “The UBCIC has long-held the opinion that salmon fish farms has proven to have had a lethal and irreversibly toxic impact on indigenous runs of wild salmon. Especially where there is a concentration of fish farms in waters used by juvenile salmon exposed to the high concentrations of sea-lice from these fish farms.“

Earlier this week, the UBCIC Executive joined 45 people who participated in the 29 hour fast supporting the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council’s (MTTC) opposition to fish farm tenures in the Broughton Archipelago.

“I am very pleased that many of the fast participants were from Indigenous communities and I was happy to see many supporters from the general public including a couple who participated from their home in Haugesund, Norway” said Chief Bob Chamberlin, Chairman of the MTTC. “92 per cent of fish farms on the BC coast are owned by Norwegian companies Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Greig Seafood including all of the fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, the heart of our territories. The fish farms operating in our territories are killing wild salmon, the lifeblood of all life that reside in our territories and the lifeblood of our culture.”

On September 13, 2007, 143 state members of the United Nations General Assembly, voted to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as recommended by the UN Human Rights Council.

“Norway voted to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It was an historical vote and to Indigenous Peoples it is regarded as a solemn commitment to universal human rights,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. “Companies headquartered in countries who voted to adopt the Declaration, such as Norway, should apply the standards of the Declaration in all of their relationships with Indigenous Peoples domestically and internationally.”

Grand Chief Phillip concluded “The UBCIC will continue to fully support any and all Indigenous communities who choose to pursue all available steps to ensure that their rights are recognized, respected and protected at the local, regional, national and international levels.”

This Saturday, the UBCIC will join the Wild Salmon Circle to rally for wild salmon, featuring Otto Langer, Chief Bob Chamberlin, and Don Staniford of the global Pure Salmon Campaign. The rally is at Vanier Park at 1:00 PM on February 20. For more information go to: http://www.wildsalmoncircle.com/ 

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Media inquires:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231

Chief Bob Chamberlin, Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council
Phone: (604) 684-0231

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.