Please read and distribute
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As you may be aware, three commercial salmon farms located in Kwakwakw’wakw Nation territories (Broughton Archipelago, Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) are currently being occupied by Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists who are demanding that the fish farms close.
Injunctions have been served on some fish farm occupiers, and more are threatened. On December 22, 2017 the B.C. Supreme Court granted Marine Harvester (fish farm company) injunctions to remove the occupiers. We can anticipate more injunctions, more resistance, and more arrests over the coming weeks and months. Read:
At the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE) we compiled a very short list of links offering background into debates about fish farming locally and internationally, specific information about the history of Indigenous peoples’ and environmentalists’ opposition to fish farming on this coast, connections to sites where regular updates on the current salmon farm occupations are provided, and information about how you may offer support.
Stand With Us (Cleansing Our Waters) – how to support
Please consider making this information available to your students, and please circulate the link to this blog to your networks.
Very brief summary:
The people occupying three of the twenty fish farms in the area are demanding closure of these farms that have been operating without Indigenous consent, and are responsible for significant environmental damage, constituting a threat to wild salmon. The movement opposing ocean-based salmon farming on this coast has been underway for 30 years.
Swanson Island is the largest fish farm occupation. It has been underway since August 27, 2017. Watch Ernest Alfred’s first report, “Occupation of a Salmon Farm, why?”
The Swanson Island Occupation Facebook page posts regular reports and updates on this and the other occupations currently underway. You can stay up to date by checking in with this page regularly.
For more information, search “Swanson Island Occupation” on Youtube and Vimeo for a number of reports on the current occupations, and on the history of this political struggle.
October 17, 2017 injunction
Idle No More Metrotown
The Wild Salmon Matriarchs’ Camp
Tsastilqualus Ambers Umbas is a 64 year old Kwakwakw’wakw grandmother who has organized a Wild Salmon’s Matriarchs’ Camp in Victoria, B.C. in support of the fish farm occupations. Tsastilqualus has been living in the Matriarch’s Camp outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans since October 24, 2017.
On December 17, 2017 Tsastilqualus was arrested and removed from this site. She has been charged with trespassing and will go to court on February 5, 2018. Tsastilqualus has now reestablished the Matriarch’s Camp outside British Columbia Premier, John Horgan’s, office.
Listen to Tsastilqualus Ambers Umbas, Matriarch Camp, December 27, 2017 podcast:
Other good sources of information are the Salmon Guardian Show Facebook page