Assembly of First Nations supports the Okanagan Nation Alliance and their
central role in all aspects of management of fisheries at Osoyoos Lake

OTTAWA, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo issued the below statement in support of Okanagan National Alliance (ONA) and the duty to consult and need to collaborate with First Nations.

"The recent decision by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to open a recreational fishery in the lake was done unilaterally and without consultation with the people of the Okanagan Nation who have spent the past six years rebuilding the salmon stock at Osoyoos Lake in British Columbia. 

I am disappointed to learn that decisions are being made without full collaboration and recognition of First Nations title and rights.  We must find the ways to move forward, putting the sustainability of all fisheries first and foremost and recognizing Indigenous rights and title.

The long-term effect of this decision does not reflect the intent by the Okanagan Nation to rebuild the sockeye fishery at Osoyoos Lake in British-Columbia. The Okanagan Nation are to be congratulated for their successful efforts in rebuilding the salmon population and should have been viewed as full partners in this matter. 

Court decisions have clearly stated that First Nations must be fully involved including through proper consultation and accommodation in any project that can influence or impact their Titles and Rights. First Nations governments must be fully engaged in these decisions. Clearly the way forward requires full collaboration."

The federal government opened the recreational fishery at Osoyoos Lake from August 13th to the 22nd without fully consulting and accommodating the Okanagan Nation.  Sockeye salmon have returned to Osoyoos Lake at levels not seen since the 1950s, largely due to the efforts of ONA who have been releasing millions of salmon fry into nearby rivers over the last six years.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: For further information:

Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
Cell: 613-292-0857 or agaron@afn.ca


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