Tag Archives: Herring

Chief Darren Blaney: First Nations need to take back stewardship of natural resources

More than 25 people turned out for the ‘Polycrisis Townhall-Party’ in the Klahoose Multi-purpose building on Friday, May 17. Chief Darren Blaney of the Homalco FIrst Nation, his wife, MP Rachel Blaney, and Cortes Island Regional Director Mark Vonesch were among them. The event was put together by Cortes Island’s  Alternate Director, Max Thaysen. Norm Harry, of the Klahoose FIrst Nation, welcomed everyone to the building. The most newsworthy portion was Chief Blaney’s declaration that First Nations need to take back stewardship of their traditional territories. 

An abridged version of his talk follows.

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‘What we need to get back to’: Food sovereignty event brings talk of barter economies

Editor’s note: Cortes Island markets rely on cash, not barter,

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Port Alberni, BC – In late March Nuu-chah-nulth and surrounding communities gathered at Maht Mah’s for Ahousaht’s food sovereignty event. After a full day of presentations, attendees and presenters gathered to competitively trade teas, herbs, seeds, smoked sockeye, soaps, and other goods, representing an economy that traces back thousands of years.

“Traditionally, we had vast trade routes,” said Nitanis Desjarlais, a traditional food advocate, noting there was language associated with trading. “It opened up our plates to this variety of foods, and it strengthened our relationships.”

Continue reading ‘What we need to get back to’: Food sovereignty event brings talk of barter economies

The Pacific Herring Spawn and Nurseries Project

A citizen scientist project to photograph Pacific herring spawn along the West Coast, from Alaska down to California, has been underway for close to two months. It is based in the Comox-Courtenay area, and one of its many partners is the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI).

Project lead Jacqueline Huard, a scientist with Project Watershed,  explained, “I work with the Coastal Forage Fish Network. We are very community scientist based and working on a herring project in iNaturalist just was a natural fit for us. I wanted to encourage the folks that we work with to put their data somewhere where they could also access it. The goal is twofold, both to collect some data and address a gap, but also to get it out to the public and have a publicly available data set for the public created by community scientists.”

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Indigenous food gathering nourishes culture and climate resiliency

Editor’s Note: Some First Nations members from within our listening area may have been among the hundreds of participants, ‘from both coasts and the length of the island,’ who took part in the Island Indigenous Food Gathering. The Homalco, Klahoose, K’omoks and Tla’amin are all Northern Coast Salish Nations. The We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum are Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations.

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

First Nations from across Vancouver Island celebrated and strengthened traditional food sovereignty in a bid to deepen Indigenous communities’ response to climate change and other emergencies.

The recent Island Indigenous Food Gathering near Port Alberni, B.C. , involved hundreds of members from the Nuu-chah-nulth, Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations from both coasts and the length of the island, said organizer Nitanis Desjarlais.

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Satellites track the tiny silver fish hugely important to marine life

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A new scientific endeavour has taken to the sky using high-tech drones and satellite images to understand better the annual spring herring spawn vital to salmon and wildlife on the West Coast. 

Between February and March each year, frigid ocean waters transform to a milky tropical-looking turquoise green when male herring release milt to fertilize the countless eggs deposited by females on eelgrass, kelp and seaweed fringing coastal shores.

Unpredictable and dramatic, the small silver fishes’ spawning event is large and best monitored from great heights, said Loïc Dallaire, a researcher with the SPECTRAL Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Victoria. 

“It’s one of the very few animal formations that we can see from space, excluding human developments and towns,” Dallaire said. 

Continue reading Satellites track the tiny silver fish hugely important to marine life