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Heiltsuk Nation occupies DFO office in face of expected herring fishery

Heiltsuk Nation members confront DFO officers at Denny Island coast guard station (Pacific Wild) via Common Sense Canadian.

Heiltsuk Nation members confront DFO officers at Denny Island coast guard station (Pacific Wild) via Common Sense Canadian.

by Damien Gillis, Common Sense Canadian, March 29, 2015

Updated 7 PM

Tensions continue to escalate on the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest over a highly controversial herring fishery, as members of the Heiltsuk Nation are now occupying the local DFO office in opposition to a planned gillnet opening.

A group of Heiltsuk youth, elders and chiefs paddled and boated this afternoon from Bella Bella to the coast guard station on nearby Denny Island  – headquarters of DFO’s central coast operations – to deliver an eviction notice reminding local representatives that Area 7 is a no-go zone for a commercial herring fishery this year. Read the rest of this entry

B.C.’s Heiltsuk Nation mobilizes boats to protect herring fishery

Heiltsuk woman Carrie Humchitt watches powerlessly as a commercial fishing boat takes in tonnes of herring fish in a disputed fishing area on the B.C. central coast near Bella Bella on Sunday. Photo by Ian McAllister, Vancouver Observer.

Heiltsuk woman Carrie Humchitt watches powerlessly as a commercial fishing boat takes in tonnes of herring fish in a disputed fishing area on the B.C. central coast near Bella Bella on Sunday. Photo by Ian McAllister, Vancouver Observer.

THE CANADIAN PRESS March 26, 2015

BELLA BELLA – The Heiltsuk Nation is vowing to protect herring in its territory by any means necessary as it readies boats to defend a contentious fishery on B.C.’s Central Coast.

The First Nation has issued a news release saying it met with federal officials about a commercial herring gillnet fishery in its territory Wednesday afternoon but failed to reach an agreement.

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Heiltsuk First Nation says commercial herring fishery violated constitutional rights

A fishing boat pulls in a net full of herring on the Central Coast of B.C. (Heiltsuk First Nation)

A fishing boat pulls in a net full of herring on the Central Coast of B.C. (Heiltsuk First Nation)

Heiltsuk claim Fisheries and Ocean Canada’s method of measuring herring stocks is flawed

CBC News, March 23, 2015

The Heiltsuk First Nation on B.C.’s Central Coast says when Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) opened a herring fishery on Sunday afternoon it violated the band’s constitutional rights.

According to a statement released by the Heiltsuk, just before 5 p.m. PT, the federal department opened the herring sac roe seine fishery in Spiller Channel, despite the First Nation’s demands the commercial fishery remain closed this year to preserve herring stocks. Read the rest of this entry

First Nations fight feds over decision to open herring-roe fisheries

Coastal Guardian Watchmen confront armed trophy hunters to save grizzlies

Coastal Guardian Watchmen on the lookout for trophy hunters on the Great Bear Rainforest coast in 2010. Photo by Doug Neasloss with Kitasoo/Xai'xais Nation.

Coastal Guardian Watchmen on the lookout for trophy hunters on the Great Bear Rainforest coast in 2010. Photo by Doug Neasloss with Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation.

“Sometimes it gets nasty,” said Jason Moody, a patroller from Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola.

In BC, coastal wolves genetically different from mainland wolves

Coastal wolves eat a lot more fish and other seafood than their cousins on the mainland.

Coastal wolves eat a lot more fish and other seafood than their cousins on the mainland.

Heiltsuk people had long known coast and timber wolves as distinct

By Emily Chung, CBC News, June 10, 2014

If you are a wolf cub on B.C.’s mainland, your parents will feed you moose, deer and beaver and will teach you to hunt as you get older. If you are a wolf cub on the islands off the B.C. coast, salmon will be on heavy rotation at mealtime, and your parents will teach you to dig clams and catch fish.

Either way, you will likely one day settle down with someone special who was raised the way you were.

That’s what a new study by Canadian and Polish researchers shows — that two groups of wolves that live side-by-side along B.C.’s coast live very different lives and don’t interbreed much. Statistical tests show they’re far more genetically different than expected for such close neighbours.

“They kind of stick to their own,” said Chris Darimont, senior author of the paper published today in BMC Ecology. Read the rest of this entry

DFO backs down from commercial fishery banned by Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation

Three RCMP boats parked at docks in Bella Bella, 'BC.' as part of their operation against Heiltsuk, March 2014.

Three RCMP boats parked at docks in Bella Bella, ‘BC.’ as part of their operation against Heiltsuk, March 2014.

by

A coastal British Columbia First Nation is claiming a partial victory after federal Fisheries and Oceans officials agreed to keep commercial herring gillnet boats away from waters set off-limits by the community.

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Tensions rise as Heiltsuk demand Central Coast herring fishery be called off

A Tlingit in Alaska gathering Herring roe,.

A Tlingit in Alaska gathering Herring roe,.

MARK HUME, The Globe and Mail, April 1, 2014

Tensions are rising on a remote stretch of British Columbia’s Central Coast, where a commercial herring fleet is gathering to fish in an area long closed because of conservation concerns.

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea overruled her own staff recently in deciding to allow fishing this spring, but as the opening approaches, First Nations are increasingly demanding that the fishery be called off.

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RCMP descend on Heiltsuk community to “keep the peace” in herring fishery row

Three RCMP boats parked at docks in Bella Bella, 'BC.' as part of their operation against Heiltsuk, March 2014.

Several RCMP boats parked at docks in Bella Bella, ‘BC.’ as part of their operation against Heiltsuk, March 2014.

By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, March 29, 2014

The federal government has chosen a remote stretch of B.C. coastline to square off against aboriginals in a fight over an imminent commercial roe-herring fishery.

Federal fisheries minister Gail Shea is being blamed for an escalating conflict over a forthcoming commercial gillnet fishery that has resulted in RCMP descending on B.C.’s central coast to guard against potential interference by Heiltsuk natives.

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Pipeline review set to resume in Bella Bella after first nations protest

Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Heiltsuk hereditary chiefs greet government officials conducting Enbridge hearings in Bella Bella, April 1, 2012.

The federal review of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is set to resume Tuesday after the hearings were abruptly cancelled on the heels of a protest organized by the community school.

Panel members arrived in the remote coastal community on Sunday to find the main street lined with protesters. That evening, officials sent notice to community leaders that the hearings, which were set to run for four days in Bella Bella, would not take place. Read the rest of this entry