Submission 0346-FLIGHT

Submitter: Jim Flight

Community: Vancouver

Date Submitted: November 8, 2023

It must not be forgotten that salmon are sacred to indigenous peoples, not to colonizers and DFO. It is evident that DFO is concerned with protecting the commercial fishery at the expense of the indigenous way of life. It is time to recognize that an Aboriginal fishery could be sustained were it not for the ongoing circumvention of the requirement to prioritize conservation and food, social and ceremonial needs above other fisheries.

To Alexandra Morton,


A Colonizer’s dream

Two or three generations …….

Does it equal time immemorial…..

The plan of Extinguishment fulfilled…

By your way, your words….

Colonization completed….

Salmon are an Indigenous resource not to be taken away by your short history of presence. Words that you coin make me embarrassed to be of Colonial heritage. I believe in Indigenous Title and Rights. A few short generations does not put you on equal footing. I appreciate your defence of the Salmon. That is why I joined you on the Fraser. It was respect for the fact that you were being Honoured that I said nothing on Skwah when I heard these words.I refer to your claim of being Neo-Indigenous because you have raised children here. I have spent a good deal of time on the Fraser with people with a long time connection to the Salmon. Salmon are Sacred you say. Let us not forget to whom. We can attach to the words but how about the depth of their meaning. Again, I appreciate your work to protect the Salmon. When we look at the Salmon as a resource let us not forget who’s resource. The Salmon and the Indigenous along the route are one. Inseparable. A great danger to the Salmon and the People to whom they are Sacred is that the Colonizers, Government and DFO prevent Indigenous fishing to protect the “resource”, not the Salmon, meaning that the concern of the aforementioned is to protect the wealth of mining the resource that the Salmon are at the expense of the Indigenous way of life. It is stated that the order of concern is ; Conservation, Aboriginal Food, and other fishery. Again and again what happens is the commercial fishery opens and then there is a conservation concern so the Aboriginal fishery is closed by Colonial imposed “protection” and enforced violently by DFO. It is also evident that it is the non-Native “resource” that is being protected, not the Salmon. The way that this seems to unfold protects only the commercial resource at the expense of the Indigenous. In 1902 on October 10th many Indian Chiefs including Chief Harry of Cheam (where we stopped, were honoured and had a meal of Salmon; something I don’t take lightly) wrote to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries calling attention to the fishing practices of the Cannerymen and the injury to the fishery of Aboriginals along the Fraser River. They noted as well that they had on a former occasion given timely warning to the fate of the Sturgeon fishing. Now I watch as Sturgeon are returned to the river when they are caught while fishing for Salmon with the hope that they will recover. It is time for all to recognize that the People of the River and the Salmon are one, not separate, and yes as you say are Sacred. It is time to recognize that the Salmon can sustain an Aborignal fishery which would flourish if there was not a kind of shell game going on circumventing the intent of the Conservation, Aboriginal, Other format. The continuation of the Commercial first, Conservation second, Aboriginal last if at all, shell game will be the end of the Salmon and the People for whom they are Sacred.

Jim Flight

Coast Salish Territory

c.c. June Quipp
c.c. Nicole Shabus
c.c. Cohen Commission

Submission Files:

No uploaded submissions.

Comment List

There are no comments for this submission.