Press Release Members of the Secwepemc Nation Fully Support members of the Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwamis First Nation occupying the Wicklow Fish Farm

Press Release

Members of the Secwepemc Nation Fully Support members of the Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwamis First Nation occupying the Wicklow Fish Farm

August 31, 2017 (Kamloops/Secwepemc Territory) –  The Chiefs of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council are standing in solidarity with members of the Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwamis First Nation in their occupation of fish farms located in their traditional territory located in Northern Vancouver Island. The Secwepemc recognizes that this occupation of Wicklow Fish farm led by Chief Okwilagame (Willie Moon) is an assertion of their authority in their traditional lands and waters after the collapsed fish farm that released thousands of Altlantic salmon. The farmed Atlantic Salmon made their way into the traditional waters of the Shishalh Nation located on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia.

The Secwepemc people have a clear understanding that fish farms are a threat to the Secwepemc Nation’s cultural identity. The Secwepemc people depend on wild salmon which has been a key staple of our diets since time immemorial. The Secwepemc leadership strives to act towards the protection of salmon in our waterways and sustaining wild fish for current and future generations to come.

The occupations by the Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwamis First Nation will continue until the farms are removed. The lack of action from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is not something the Secwepemc Nation can accept.

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian says, “Government bodies, like DFO, must provide satisfactory responses to all Indigenous Nations that have never given up their inherent authority over their lands and waters. Governments must act to ensure that our rights to our fisheries can continue on for future generations.”

“All Atlantic farmed salmon must be taken out of the ocean as they are a contributing factor to the decline of our wild stocks. We hold Canada responsible for the death and decline our relatives – the salmon.” stated Kukpi7 Wayne Christian.

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About the Secwepemc Nation: The Secwepemc Nation is currently governed by 17 Indian Act Bands and two Tribal Councils, the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, and the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council. These governing structures were imposed upon our communities with the creation of the Indian Act in 1876. Secwepemc territory spans approximately 180,000 square kilometres in the Interior of British Columbia. We are working to re-establish Nation-to-Nation approach to governance.

Media Contact:

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian, Tribal Chief

Shuswap Nation Tribal Council

Kukpi7_christian@splatsin.ca

250-503-7072

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