Tag Archives: Dallas Smith

First Nations leader celebrates evolution of stewardship in Great Bear Rainforest

A model for environmental protection may become much more.

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

There are new measures to better protect bear and fish habitat in the globe’s largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest, thanks to First Nations’ increasing role in stewarding the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR).

The new protections resulted from the latest five-year review of an agreement between the B.C. Ministry of Forests and two First Nations alliances — Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council — which represent 11 of the 26 Nations with territory in the rainforest.

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New federal funding buoys First Nations’ efforts to protect Great Bear Sea

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Coastal First Nations striving to protect to B.C.’s Great Bear Sea got a boost after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced $800 million in funding for Indigenous-led conservation projects.

Spread over seven years, the funding will support projects in B.C., Ontario, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories and is expected to protect a total of one million square kilometres, said Trudeau. The prime minister made the announcement at the global United Nations biodiversity conference, known as COP15, underway in Montreal. 

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The First Nations calling for a renewal of fish farm licenses

Editor’s note: The licenses for 79 fish farms will come up for renewal by the end of June, 2022. If the Department of Fisheries fails to reissue them, there will only be seven farms left in the province. These are all in the Broughton Archipelago and their licenses come up for renewal in 2023. 

On March 21, a group of what was supposedly 17 First Nations supporting the fish farming industry put out a press release. Cortes Currents is not on the First Nations for Finfish Stewardship email list, and at that point had not heard of the group. We subsequently asked Dallas Smith, spokesperson for this coalition, for an interview. When he did not reply, Cortes Currents published a write-up largely based on that original press release. Within hours of posting a link through social media, someone directed Cortes Currents to independent biologist Alexandra Morton’s Facebook page where there was evidence that this group of 17 was at best 12 and more likely 11 First Nations. Since then, the list has grown smaller. 

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An industry response to curtailing Old Growth Logging

CKTZ News, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An industry response to curtailing old growth logging appeared in the Spring 2021 edition of the Truck Loggers Association magazine.

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Na̲nwak̲olas council strikes agreement to protect sacred cedars

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

First Nations culture along B.C.’s West Coast is rooted in the majestic and monumental cedar tree.

Known as the “Tree of Life,” cedar has a multitude of uses for coastal peoples, says Na̲nwak̲olas Council president Dallas Smith.

But more than a century of industrial old-growth logging has mowed down these forest giants that can live for thousands of years, putting the shared spiritual and cultural well-being of First Nations at risk, Smith said.

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