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CONTRIBUTION · 30th August 2011
Arthur Manuel


Dear Salmon Warriors:

My name is Arthur Manuel, I am a member of the Secwepemc Nation and served as the Chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band and Chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and as such I seconded the 1998 Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Resolution against salmon net pen aquaculture or fish farms.

It is a nightmare that 13 years later we are still fighting against fish farms and the destructive impact they have on our indigenous salmon stocks.

It is totally irresponsible for theDepartment of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to pretend there is no difference between the Atlantic and Pacific salmon and no significance between penned and wild salmon. DFO is falling down on their job to diligently take care of the priceless wild salmon for political and economic purposes.

“Our Salmon are Sacred” especially to us Indigenous Peoples who have depended on the salmon to sustain our culture and peoples since time immemorial. I stand with all you modern Salmon Warriors who have been fighting open pen fish farms. I appreciate you collected evidence on the negative impacts happening and will provide this evidence to the Cohen Commission.

I believe in the principles of Indigenous Free Prior Informed Consent and the Precautionary Approach. I believe these principles must be implemented in regard to the open pen fishfarms.

As Indigenous Peoples we hold the most long-term knowledge about our indigenous salmon stocks. We never consented to the introduction of Atlantic salmon and the diseases that they brought to our salmon, waters and culture. The very purpose of the Cohen Commission makes it self-evident that a precautionary approach is needed toensure that our sockeye do not become extinct by a Ministry that has lost sight of their purpose.

Indigenous Peoples have the right and responsibility to take full charge of conservation for our indigenous salmon when they are threatened by extinction from fish farms.

Thank you for keeping up the struggle to save our sockeye salmon.

Arthur Manuel


Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Chiefs Council - April 21, 1998

Resolution: Fish Farms

WHEREAS Salmon and all marine life are a vital resource to all Indigenous Nations, and any actions which threaten salmon or marine life threaten the well-being and the livelihood of our Peoples; and

WHEREAS Scientific evidence has clearly established that salmon netpen aquaculture ("fish farms") pose a very serious danger to wild salmon stocks and other marine life, including:

· Disease

· Introduction of drugs and chemicals into the natural habitat, which can both poison other marine life and build up in the food chain to poison our Peoples

· Pollution, including significant contamination of shellfish populations

· Predation on young stock

· Escaped farm salmon competing for food and habitat with wild stock

WHEREAS those Indigenous Nations on whose water fish farms are located experience immediate and destructive impacts, including the destruction of traditional harvesting grounds, and the poisoning of water and marine resources.

WHEREAS All Indigenous Nations who rely upon marine resources or salmon have our rights jeopardized and threatened by fish farms.

WHEREAS The Supreme Court of Canada, in the Delgamuukw decision, gave clear direction to both the federal and provincial government that Indigenous Peoples have a right in the Land (including waters) and a right to decide to what uses the land will be put. Certain governmentactions which impacts Aboriginal Title Lands, such as fish farm operations,will require the full consent of the Indigenous Nation involved.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs is opposed to the lifting of the current moratorium on new fish farms; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any use of Aboriginal Title Lands (including waters) for fish farms requires the full consent of all of the Indigenous Nations who hold Aboriginal Title to the Lands, Waters and Resources which will be impacted; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs supports a "zero tolerance" policy on the approval of any new fish farms, or the extension of existing fish farm licenses until:

· Existing fish farms have been removed from locations which permit them to infringe upon Aboriginal Title and Rights;

· Existing fish farms have been converted to safe, closed-looped containment systems;

· Regulations are in place requiring all new fish farms to employ safe, closed-looped containment systems, to standards acceptable to Indigenous Nations; and

· The consent of all Indigenous Nations whose Title and Rights will be impacted has been obtained.

Moved: David Hunt, Chair, Kwakiutl District Council

Seconded: Arthur Manuel, Chief, Neskonlith Indian Band/Shuswap Nation