Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Text Size

First Nation threatening fisheries blockade waits for DFO's call

By Kristian Secher


A B.C. First Nation threatening to block commercial fisheries in its traditional waters said it's still waiting for a meaningful discussion with the federal government about a dispute over the geoduck harvest.

Meanwhile, the Stz'uminus Nation is reaching out to commercial fishermen and other involved parties to try and reach an understanding so a blockade can be avoided.

The east Vancouver Island nation is frustrated with Fisheries and Oceans Canada's control over resources, in particular the lucrative geoduck harvest.

Geoduck is a species of large, saltwater clam, and is highly valued in the global market. Stz'uminus wants a greater say in resource management and access to more resources, said chief John Elliott. Elliott said his nation has been "pulled all over the place" since it sent out a statement on May 2, vowing to block any commercial fishing vessels from entering its traditional waters, an area stretching from Gabriola Island to Active Pass.

He said he met with chiefs of neighbouring First Nations Monday who all expressed support for Stz'uminus' plans, even though a blockade will affect their fisheries.

"They share our frustrations with access to resources and will be supportive of anything that happens within our territory," said Elliott.

The meeting was a green light to move ahead with the blockade when the nation deems it necessary, he said. Elliott hopes it won't come to that, and said Stz'uminus is busy meeting representatives from industry and concerned sports fishermen in an effort to solve the dispute, which was triggered by DFO's new geoduck management plan.

"Our fight isn't with commercial fishermen," said Elliott. "They're trying to make a livelihood, just as we are."

Elliott said some fishermen expressed understanding and willingness to stay out of the band's territory. But with the large number of commercial fisheries in the area, it is difficult to reach that kind of understanding with everyone, he said.

The chief said DFO holds the power to solve the looming conflict peacefully -- if only it would reach out to Stz'uminus.

A spokesperson for Fisheries Minister Gail Shea told The Tyee last week that DFO officials were "engaged in ongoing discussions with Stz'uminus."

Elliott said he received one phone call from DFO after he sent out the notice, but nothing since. He said he's waiting for the next one to come. "DFO is the real player in this process, and they haven't been involved," he said. "Or they don't want to."

Kristian Secher is completing a practicum at The Tyee. 

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins