Traditionally Huu-ay-ahts grew up on a seafood-rich diet. Although many citizens now live away from their traditional territory, it is still an important part of their culture.
Huu-ay-aht First Nations is committed to supplying its citizens with fish when it is in season.
The amount that Huu-ay-aht citizens currently receive is dependent on the amount of budget that can be allocated to catching food fish each year. It also depends on the number of citizens we have to distribute to each season.
In the past, food fish was distributed only locally in Anacla, and then eventually it was expanded to Port Alberni. Over the years, the program has grown to try to reach as many citizens as possible.
We can guess that some of the other Nuu-chah-nulth Nations that provide more fish have more budget per person
We also aim to treat everyone equally, and handing out pre-portioned fish makes it clear that each person gets the same amount.
In our most recent food fish survey the preference for pre-processed versus whole fish was nearly 50-50. That is, for each person who would prefer whole fish, there is another who appreciates having it done for them.
If you have any questions or comments about the food fish program, please call Coraleah Johnson at 250-723-0100.
For a complete list of rules for distribution day, click on this link: Distribution Process and Rules 2015
Here are some frequently asked questions that might help you:
- Can someone pick up my fish for me? Can I pick up someone’s fish for them?
- Yes, as long as you fill out the Food Fish Release Form which can be found on our website online, and at our government offices.
- The form can be used to allow someone else to pick up one of your types of fish, or you can fill in the form once per year to allow that person to pick up all of your fish for the year.
- If you are releasing your fish to someone in a town outside of where you live, please call our office in advance to let us know, so we send enough fish to that location. Fish being collected using a Food Fish Release Form is given out after everyone at the distribution in person is served.
- Yes, as long as you fill out the proper release form which can be found on our website online, as well as at our government offices.
- RELEASE FORM: Food Fish Release Form
- I recently moved to a different city can I pick up my fish where I currently live?
- If you have contacted the office after you have moved to update your address or have filled out our online form, yes you can. Calling the day of delivery is insufficient notice and we may not be able to serve you.
- How come we don’t receive whole fish?
- We aim to treat everyone equally and handing out pre-portioned fish makes it clear that each person gets the same amount.
- In our most recent food fish survey the preference for pre-processed vs whole fish was nearly 50/50. For each person that would prefer whole fish, there is another who appreciates having it processed for them.
- As a compromise between these two preferences, we are currently distributing whole fresh sockeye and providing pre-cut and packaged halibut and chinook/coho
- Why are we allotted (X) amount of fish and (X) amount of poundage? This isn’t enough to feed me all year.
- The amount that Huu-ay-aht citizens currently receive is dependent on the amount of budget that can be allocated to catching food fish each year and the number of citizens we have to distribute to. In the past, food fish was distributed only locally in Anacla and then eventually to Port Alberni. Over the years, the program has grown to try to reach as many citizens as possible. We can guess that some of the other Nations that provide more fish have more budgets per person.
- The goal of our food fish program is to provide a selection of healthy wild food from Huu-ay-aht First Nations Traditional Territory to as many of our citizens as possible, not necessarily to provide all they need for the year.
- Why are we notified on such short notice that food fish will be coming?
- We aim to give at least 24 hours’ notice before distribution. However, fresh fish delivery often has a shorter notice period, unfortunately. While we stay in as close communication with fishers as we can, circumstances sometimes mean that we have very little notice of when their catch is ready. Then, there are many steps involved in getting fish from the boat to you. Frozen fish delivery will have a longer notice period.
- How do you pick which location receives their fish first?
- Delivery locations are determined by the available quantities, when the fish are caught and staff and transportation availability.
- When is the next distribution in my town?
- This is one of our most common and most difficult questions to give a clear answer to.
- There are many things that influence when distributions will take place. These include: boat breakdowns and malfunctions, fish behavior and catchability, weather conditions, processing times, and more.
- If you ask this question before a public announcement has been made, we are very unlikely to be able to answer you with anything other than: “soon.”
- Do I have to bring something to put my fish in?
- Yes, we do not supply bags or containers for you to take your fish away in