Thursday, December 12, 2013

Documentary Film Highlights First Nation's Salmon Stewardship

In the interest of full disclosure, we'll be upfront in telling you that our chair Will Atlas is the lead biologist on this project. 

Across the BC, First Nations are increasingly taking a leadership role in the monitoring and stewardship of resources within their traditional territory. On the Central Coast of BC, where the Canadian Federal government has cut the DFO budget to the bone, the Heiltsuk and other Central Coast Nations are taking the opportunity to take charge of monitoring culturally and economically important populations of salmon in their territory. 

In 2013, working with the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department (HIRMD), Qqs Projects Society, a Heiltsuk driven non-profit based in Bella Bella, built a traditional fish weir on the Koeye River to monitor sockeye as they migrate upriver to tributaries of Koeye lake. The Koeye is one of the largest rivers in the territory, and monitoring had previously been sporadic and unreliable at best. 

To tell the story of the pilot season of the weir project and its role in strengthening Heiltsuk stewardship, and to spread the word both within First Nations communities and more broadly, Qqs is working on a documentary film on the project. The film is due out in January and they are currently running a crowd funding campaign to support the costs of editing and post production. 

This is a great story that's all about what's right in the world of salmon conservation, local communities taking the lead to monitor and project salmon populations. So check it out, and please consider supporting the project. Even small donations help and they've got a some great rewards for their supporters, including unique prints of BC's Central Coast, a dozen mojo laden flies tied by our very own Will Atlas, and a hosted week at the Koeye River during the summer of 2014. 

No comments: