The federal government and B.C. First Nations reached a joint agreement on managing salmon in the Fraser River on Friday.
The pact was made between the Fraser Salmon Management Council, which represents 76 First Nations bands along the Fraser River, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
A release from fisheries called it a “landmark agreement that signals a significant change,” for relationships between the two in managing the Fraser River salmon.
“We’ve long fought for our rightful place at the table in the management of fisheries resources that are critical to our communities’ well being. We look forward to working collaboratively on behalf of Fraser salmon,” said Darren Haskell, president of the council.
“It’s very meaningful to us to have a say (in) this very important resource. We still have stories that we carry, passed down, about our relationship with everything around us and salmon are a big part,” said Dalton Silver with the Sumas First Nation.
“We’ve come a long ways sitting here. It’s unprecedented to have so many of our tribes together, in one room, moving in the same direction,” Silver said.
Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson was at the announcement of the Fraser Salmon Collaborative Management Agreement at Katzie First Nation in Pitt Meadows.
“Not only does this renewed collaboration help secure the sustainability of our fisheries for the long term. It ensures … decisions made are based on shared principles for the protection and conservation of Fraser salmon stocks,” Wilkinson said.