Can There Be a Salmon People Without Wild Salmon?

Salmon rock photo by Don Staniford

By Kim Peterson
The Dominion

On May 8, 2010, thousands of people flowed across the lawns of BC’s legislature in Victoria to protest open-net salmon farming, which Indigenous communities and others are blaming for catastrophic declines in the wild salmon population.

Calling for wild salmon to take priority over farmed salmon, a contingent led by First Nations set off on April 23 from Sointula, at the north end of Vancouver Farms, and walked for two weeks to Victoria.

Two local dailies, The Vancouver Sun and The Province, both gave a figure of about 1,000 at the legislature, while The Globe and Mail estimated 4,000, but Alexander Morton, one of the organizers of the “Get Out Migration” march, counted many more.

“The Parliament lawns reportedly hold 20,000 people and looking out over the sea of people less than one-third of the lawn was visible,” said Morton.

The Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest were historically referred to as the Salmon People—their communities, stales, and culture thrived in unison with the salmon, which provided sustenance for humans and much of the ecosystem.

But the increasing number of commercial fish farms, which raise salmon in open-net cages in the ocean, poses a threat to First Nations.

Read full post at The Dominion

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