BC’s Fresh Catch: Updating BC’s Salmon Farm Policy

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – June 20, 2018) The UBCIC applauds today’s announcement as an initial step on the pathway to preserve and safeguard the future of wild salmon consistent with the rights, cultural practices and economic livelihoods of many First Nations throughout BC.

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UBCIC & BCCLA REACT: Supreme Court rules Corrections breached obligation to Indigenous prisoners

OTTAWA – Today, June 13, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Ewert v. Canada, a case challenging the use of prisoner risk assessment tests that can be culturally biased against Indigenous prisoners.

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) co-intervened to ask the Court to require, for the first time within prison walls, that decision-makers follow the Gladue framework by taking into account the unique circumstances of Indigenous people that come into contact with the criminal justice system.

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National inquiry six-month extension “too little, too late,” say coalition members

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC - June 7, 2018) – Members of the BC Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (the coalition) are deeply disappointed that Canada has granted only a six-month extension to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (the inquiry). Many Indigenous, civil society, and front-line service organizations supported the inquiry’s request for a two-year extension, to allow it to heed calls from the grassroots to reorganize its work and hold in-depth and meaningful institutional and regional hearings.

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B.C Cabinet and First Nations Leaders' Gathering

In Partnership, the Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Leadership Council, have reserved November 29-39, 2018 to hold the 4th annual B.C Cabinet and First Nations Leaders' Gathering in Vancouver at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

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With pipeline bailout, Canada sells out Indigenous rights and the environment

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – May 29, 2018) Indigenous leaders are standing firm in their opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project after federal finance minister Bill Morneau announced this morning that Canada has reached an agreement in principle with Kinder Morgan to purchase the troubled project for $4.5 billion. 

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Too much to bear: Canada once again fails to account for risks of not upholding our Title and Rights

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – May 16, 2018) Billed as a “major announcement” Finance Minister Bill Morneau held a press conference in Ottawa this morning to communicate that bailout talks are ongoing with Kinder Morgan, as stockholders prepare to meet in Calgary later today.

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Not a Done Deal, Premier Horgan: Federal Government Stands Aside on Treaty 8 Site C Injunction

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – May 14, 2018) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) welcomes the federal government’s recent announcement that they will not oppose the court application for an injunction to suspend construction on the Site C Dam while the court determines if flooding the Peace River would violate the rights of the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations under Treaty 8.

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Closed Containment Aquaculture: The Solution We Seek

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – May 14, 2018) Citing dangerously low numbers of wild salmon returns, the recreational salmon fishery in the Skeena River has been forced to completely shut down. A ban has also been placed on recreational salmon fisheries in the Nass River watershed, with further limits being placed across various salmon fisheries along the entire north coast. 

 

Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, states, “Wild salmon are quickly being pushed into extinction. A central impactor on the health of wild salmon is the continued imposition of open-net pen Atlantic salmon fish farms on migratory routes of wild salmon. If we are to protect this valuable species, BC and Canada must immediately move to relocate these fish farms from migratory paths to land-based containment facilities.”

 

In the last few years Canada and BC have received an abundance of information on the risks that salmon farms pose to wild salmon populations, including the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Finfish Aquaculture, the report of the Auditor General of Canada on Salmon Farming, the results of numerous independent and government funded, peer reviewed, scientific studies, the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River and the voice of Indigenous leaders throughout BC. To ignore such a wealth of information and the numerous calls to both adopt the precautionary principle and to relocate the salmon aquaculture industry to land-based facilities would be a significant dereliction of duty to protect our salmon, our environment and the economy, health and culture of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities throughout BC.

 

Bold action is needed to ensure the continued survival of wild salmon in BC. First Nations are ready to work with the Provincial and Federal Governments, through a nation-to-nation process as affirmed by the UN Declaration, to support the relocation of open net-pen salmon farms to land-based closed containment facilities to ensure

 

Media inquiries: Bob Chamberlin, Union of BC Indian Chiefs             Phone: (250) 974-8282

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