Our Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship (the Coalition) is united by a concern that the Minister of Oceans, Fisheries and Canadian Coast Guard, Joyce Murray, is:
- Rushing the ongoing open net-pen Transition Plan engagement process for finfish aquaculture in British Columbia, and is
- Attempting to make possibly damaging decisions for our Indigenous communities without conducting proper due diligence like socio-economic impact studies.
Rights and title set First Nations apart from other stakeholders in decisions regarding salmon farming, or other resource-based activities, in our traditional territories.
The Nations in the Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship retain jurisdiction over our lands, waters, resources, and interests through unextinguished Aboriginal title. The voices of the Coalition’s leaders are not being heard by the Fisheries Minister, and when heard, are not being counted.
If these Nations’ governments and communities have agreed to support the salmon farming sector in our territories, then removing the sector without our consent goes against the Federal Government’s:
- Commitment to reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and
- Their recent promise to support First Nations in their right to manage their ocean resources, including fisheries and aquaculture.