CHILLIWACK, BC, July 4, 2018 /CNW/ - Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, presented a National Recreational Fisheries Award to the Fraser River Peacemakers today. Ernie Crey and Rod Clapton accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
The Government of Canada is proud to recognize the contributions of Mr. Crey and Mr. Clapton. They co-founded the group after an incident on the Fraser River in 2009 between Indigenous and recreational harvesters. Under the leadership of Mr. Clapton, formerly of the BC Federation of Drift Fishers, and Mr. Crey, of the Stó:lō Tribal Council, the organization created a Conflict Resolution Committee composed of area representatives from the major sport fishing organizations, First Nations and the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance.
The Peacemakers joint working group has met consistently since that time and has successfully preserved peace on the Fraser River. While much of the focus initially was on conflict resolution, the group quickly began looking ahead at strategies to avoid conflict in the first place, and created an action plan that proactively pursues ways to "get along on the river." In recent years the Fraser River Peacemakers, currently co-chaired by Dean Werk, on behalf of the Recreational Sector, and Mr. Crey for the First Nations, has been hosted by the Fraser River Salmon Table. The group, with sponsorship and support from a wide-ranging number of groups, agencies and organizations, continues to foster collaborative dialogue and build relationships between DFO, First Nations, marine and in-river commercial salmon fisheries, recreational harvest interests and environmental organizations.
"The Government of Canada is proud to honour the tremendous contributions of the Fraser River Peacemakers. Over the past eight years these volunteers from Indigenous and recreational fishing organizations have cultivated an atmosphere of trust and respect between fishing communities along the Fraser River. By helping to successfully resolve disputes and educate users about river safety, they have promoted peaceful co-existence to achieve their goal for everyone to share BC's natural resources in a peaceful and sustainable manner."
Terry Beech, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"The Fraser River Peacemakers are very proud to receive this prestigious National award. We have come a long way since our inception and this award vindicates all those years of hard work as the sole organization in the Salish Sea region devoted to promoting peaceful co-existence between aboriginal fishers and sport anglers. It is also a clear recognition of how many seemingly opposing groups can work together respectfully to arrive at common goals when it comes to preserving a safe respectful fishery for our respective future generations. We are proud that our group, through strategic collaborations, ongoing dialogue and the past support of the Fraser River Salmon Table, has helped to build ongoing relationships between First Nations, the Recreational community and other Fraser River user groups. We also continue to appreciate the support of DFO and the RCMP."
Fraser River Peacemaker founders: Fraser River First Nations, B.C. Wildlife Federation, B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers, Fraser Valley Salmon Society, Fraser River Salmon Table
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
For further information: Contacts: Leri Davies, Strategic Media Relations Advisor, 604-666-8675, Cell: 604-612-6837; Vincent Hughes, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast, 613-992-3474, Vincent.Hughes@dfo-mpo.gc.ca