Tag Archives: Tlowitsis Nation

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. 

Continue reading The First Nations calling for a renewal of fish farm licenses

The Ugly Side of “Beautiful Fish”

Traditional territory of both the Tlowitsis First Nation (who support fish farming) and Ma’a̱mtagila Nation (who are against it)

By Desiree Mannila, originally published on the Watershed Sentinel

A proposal for five new fish farms off the north coast of Vancouver Island has sparked disappointment for ocean protectors who achieved the phase-out of seventeen fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago in 2019. The farms are being proposed by John Smith from Tlowitsis First Nation, in partnership with Grieg Seafood. Smith is attempting to rezone the Chatham Chanel to allow these farms.

The proposal is in direct opposition to the work that wild fish advocates have done to remove the farms from their territories. Decades of work has resulted in the federal government committing to creating a phase out plan by 2025, as well as a promise from the Government of British Columbia to establish rigorous new rules for renewals of salmon farm tenures in BC waters past 2022. The proposal is a shock to the 102 Indigenous communities that signed a petition in 2019 demanding farms be removed from their territories.

Continue reading The Ugly Side of “Beautiful Fish”

Ottawa invests $11.8 million in Indigenous commercial fishing ventures on West Coast

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ottawa is committing close to $12 million to boost sustainable Indigenous fishing enterprises on the West Coast. 

Continue reading Ottawa invests $11.8 million in Indigenous commercial fishing ventures on West Coast

Environmental groups concerned about potential open-net pen fish farm expansions

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A coalition of environmental groups is concerned about the potential expansion of open-net pen salmon farming despite a previous promise by Ottawa to phase them out on the West Coast. 

Salmon farming companies have submitted 12 applications — two of which have already been approved — to expand the size or number of net pen operations, and/or to increase the amount of fish produced at sites on the B.C. coast, according to a press release issued by four groups. 

Continue reading Environmental groups concerned about potential open-net pen fish farm expansions

50 years later: Tlowitsis First Nation in Campbell River

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Displaced from their traditional territories and scattered across Vancouver Island and beyond for more than 50 years, the Tlowitsis First Nation is on the cusp of breaking ground on a home for its people.

Chief John Smith and his brother, Thomas, a councillor, hope to finally begin work on a new village for the Tlowitsis after a decades-long search and the 2018 purchase of land south of Campbell River from a logging company.

Continue reading 50 years later: Tlowitsis First Nation in Campbell River