(Joel Krahn/Black Press File)

LETTER: Fisheries letter invites colonized misinformation

Leah Ballantyne writes to share her disappointment in a recent letter to the Observer

The Agassiz Harrison Observer ran a story titled “B.C. First Nations call for closure to commercial, recreational fishing on Fraser River” (Aug 7, 2019 online). A letter in response by Mr. J. Tonelli and published by AHO concerns me, as it is worded to place full blame for the closure of the Fraser River recreational fishery directly on First Nations fishers, citizens and advocates.

(Quote from letter: “the recreational angling community is really quite fed up with FN efforts to keep US from fishing when our methods are selective and have extremely low impact.”)

All user groups whether First Nation, commercial or recreational, are legally bound by the decisions of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The DFO holds jurisdictional authority in Canada to open or close fisheries within designated licensing regimes, of which recreational fishing is one of many regulated categories. The fishery to the west coast includes First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries that fall under rights protected within the Constitution Act 1982.

The right to a food and cultural fishery goes well beyond the leisure of a recreational fishery and the purchase of a licence.

It concerns me that a letter like this would be published as it invites colonized misinformation that only feeds anger and distrust towards First Nations citizens and their rights to a fishery for cultural, food or ceremonial purpose that is an ongoing practice from time immemorial, and constitutionally recognized within Canada.

I hope that the AHO would be more selective in their editing or reproduction of published letters.

Leah Ballantyne, Harrison Hot Springs (traditional territory of the Sto:lo Nation)


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison honour Remembrance Day

The annual ceremony took place at AESS, followed by a moment of silence at the Agassiz cenotaph

LETTER: Death on Highway 7 shows enough is enough

Agassiz resident Brent Caughy shares his displeasure at the bad driving on Lougheed Highway

LETTER: ACE move a betrayal

Agassiz resident Harvey Andrew shares his thoughts on the ACE program and its move into AESS

LETTER: Harrison lagoon plan needs to benefit taxpayers

Harrison resident Ed Wood shares his concerns about the draft plan for the lagoon

LETTER: Time to honour Agassiz, Chilliwack veterans

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness remembers local veterans in his letter to the Observer

VIDEO: Loose cow causes traffic problems on Highway 1 in Chilliwack

The bovine tumbled out of the back of a trailer while travelling westbound on the highway

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read