First Nation calls for Aquaculture Zone after signing historic agreement over management of water resources

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw (GNN) First Nation and Canadian and British Columbia governments.

The historic agreement between the three sides will advance negotiations over the management of land, water and natural resources within the First Nation’s traditional territories.

GNN has called for the establishment of an Aquaculture Zone within its territories following the agreement, stating that both wild and farmed salmon can exist in their waters.

“The MOU represents common hard-won understandings of the unique circumstances of our Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations who in 1964 were forcibly relocated out of our homelands,” Colleen Hemphill, GNN’s chief negotiator, said.

“By working together, we are developing new approaches towards reconciliation which will support the Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw Nations in building a better future for their community and implementing their vision of self-determination for this generation and many to come,” Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Affairs, said.

The GNN has been pushing for the creation of an Aquaculture Zone in its territories, seeking to administer the licensing regimes for salmon and shellfish farms, while protecting wild stocks from being overfished.

“We are working towards sustainability of both fisheries and aquaculture…they can both exist in our waters, but it should be our community that decides what that looks like for our Traditional Territory,” said Ethan Shaw, GNN’s Salmon Farm Monitor.

Mówi Canada Wester currently operates five salmon farms in the region in partnership with GNN. The licences for these farms were recently renewed for two years amid the federal government’s plans to transition to open net salmon farms on the west coast.



Related Articles