The following is a solidarity statement from Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Councilof Canadians:
“The Council of Canadians stands in solidarity with the wild salmon defenders, water protectors and observers of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nations.
We honour the strength and spirit of those who have been at Midsummer and Swanson Islands since August.
We recognize that these islands in the Broughton Archipelago off the north-eastern tip of Vancouver Island are unceded territories.
We hear the strong voices from these Indigenous communities who are sounding the alarm about the collapse of their food fishery, and the health of wild salmon and the ocean itself. This concerns all peoples and species on this coast, and across the country.
We recognize that the presence of Norwegian-owned Marine Harvest fish farms on these territories is a violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples(UNDRIP), notably the right to free, prior and informed consent.”
The Council of Canadians will be asking its chapters, members and allies to support the following demands and actions:
* Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau engage in ‘nation-to-nation’ negotiations with the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis nations who are united in their legitimate demand to have these Atlantic salmon farms removed from their territories.
* The federal government to support independent scientific reviews on the environmental impacts of farmed Atlantic salmon, to have their promise to implement UNDRIP at the forefront of their engagement in this issue, and to act responsibly within their jurisdiction over fish farms to stop the spread of disease and the impact of sea lice on wild migrating salmon.
* The British Columbia provincial government to respect UNDRIP and not renew the licences for these fish farms when they expire in June 2018.
* Marine Harvest to remove their Atlantic salmon farms from these territories.
* All supporters of indigenous rights and wild salmon to stop purchasing farmed salmon.
We stand united with wild salmon defenders to protect the waters of the Broughton Archipelago and the Fraser River.