Nuu-chah-nulth Right to Fish

Since the summer, the Enough Already campaign has been underway to support Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations rights to fish and commercially sell all species of fish on Vancouver Island’s west coast. The campaign aims to put pressure on decision makers to enable fishing rights that were granted to the five Nations in 2009 by the B.C. Supreme Court. In 2014, this decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.

According to Debra Foxcroft, Order of British Columbia and President of Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, “The campaign lets people know that Canada is still refusing, after almost six years, to engage with First Nations on their fishing plans”. Plans that Foxcroft says, “The Nations have been working on in order to design sustainable, rights-based First Nations fisheries as required by the Court ruling.”Targeting the Conservative government and also opposition party candidates running in the federal election on October 19, the campaign has rallied support on Twitter, Facebook and email to garner close to 1,000 signatures of support and hundreds of shares on social media.

Celebrities have also jumped in to help raise awareness. Aboriginal activist and legendary folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie as well as Canadian environmental activist, Tzeporah Berman, have both posted online in support of the campaign.

Canadian academic, environmental activist and writer, Dr. David Suzuki, has also publicly backed the campaign. During his Coastal Connections tour on Vancouver Island, he provided a photo statement of support, completing the sentence “I support Nuu-chah-nulth Fishing Rights because …” with his words “the knowledge base of Nuu-chah-nulth Nations is thousands of years old and priceless because it embodies sustainability.”

Ken Watts, Vice President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council believes that “Nuu-chah-nulth elders, Ha’wiih elected leaders, parents and teachers can play a significant role in this campaign by telling their younger family members to go online and support Enough Already.” Watts says, “We are watching to see which candidates running in the federal election are putting this and other First Nations issues at the top of their agenda.”

People can participate in the campaign in the following ways:

●Visit www.enoughalready.ca and sign the petition.

●Share the campaign message through email or on social media using the #enoughalready hashtag.

●Take photo with a message pledging your support. Check out other statements at www.instagram.com/enoughalreadycampaign. Tag your photo using the #enoughalready hashtag.

●Send a letter to your MP and tell him or her that you support the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations’ fishing rights and that he/she should do the same. A sample letter is available on the campaign platform after signing the petition.

 

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