In a picture from April 2018, Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver after winning aboriginal fishing rights . Photo credit, Melody Charlie.

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said that they have “incorporated the feedback” previously provided by the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations in response to their accusation of “discrimination” yesterday.

Five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations accused the federal government and DFO of discriminatory fishery practices favouring recreational fishers over their communities and not upholding the Nations’ court-won aboriginal right to chinook salmon.

READ MORE: Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

READ ALSO: B.C. First Nations get clarity on fishing rights from top court

In an email, DFO spokesperson Athina Vazeos told Black Press that since March 2019, the five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have been fishing under a multi-species fishery management plan in their traditional territories for their rights-based sale fishery.

The 2020/21 management plan is the second multi-species fishery management plan developed by DFO since the 2018 Court Order interpreted the Five Nations’ Aboriginal rights.

“This plan outlines fishing opportunities that DFO intends to provide to the five Nations for the 2020/21 season to implement the five Nations’ aboriginal rights to harvest salmon, groundfish, crab, prawn, and gooseneck barnacle in a right-based multi-species sale fishery,” said DFO in the statement.

The DFO also said feedback provided by the five Nations during consultations was considered and incorporated into the 2020/21 fishery management plan by DFO where possible. It also said it continues to consult with the five Nations on those aspects of the fishery management plan that they disagree with and is engaging in broader negotiations with them at the reconciliation table.

When asked about this response given by the DFO, the spokesperson for the five Nations on this matter and lead negotiator for Ahousaht First Nation, Wickanninish (Clifford Atleo), told Black Press that “it’s a sham.”

Wickanninish said that the 2020/21 fisheries management plan that the DFO is based on “some formula” that has “nothing to do with negotiation” with the five nations.

“They don’t consult with us, they never incorporate our view,” he said.

The 76-year-old recalled growing up on coastal territories which were once self-sufficient with food fish. But over the years he has seen the policies of the government “push his people out of the water. “

“The DFO are racist and continue to block the Nuu-chah-nulth fishery,” he said.

DFOFirst NationsFisheries and Oceans Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Overnight shutdown of Highway 1 at McKenzie interchange for sign installation

Traffic will be impacted in both directions, detour available

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket Greater Victoria again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon but not approach levels reached a few weeks ago

Canadian warship HCMS Regina sails past Sidney

The vessel recently returned from the world’s largest naval exercise

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Most Read