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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org