Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Huu-ay-aht Executive Council, administrative staff and fishers met with Gord Johns, Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni.
Huu-ay-aht took the opportunity to focus on fisheries issues such as working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on policy changes that will enable Huu-ay-aht fishers to fish and make a reasonable living, enacting the “me too” clause and agreement (see August Uyaqḥmis), salmon renewal and enhancement and creating new opportunities. Elected Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. also shared stories of Huu-ay-aht’s strong history of boat building, and acknowledged present fishers and recognized the fishers unable to attend.
Gord Johns followed the comments by Chief Robert J. Dennis Sr. and our fishers by discussing how he values the relationship with Huu-ay-aht and the other Nuu-chah-nulth and First Nations. The MP acknowledged British Columbia is experiencing a Salmon crisis. He would like to see a full salmon crisis campaign to support salmon fisheries including restoration and seeing licences in the hands of fishers, and a conclusion to the Ahousaht et. al case.
After the meeting, the group headed down to the Bamfield dock to look at James Nookemus’ boat, Nawanhe II and gather for the Kiix̣in Tour. The tour was led by Stella Peters with additional comments and stories from Robert J. Dennis Sr., Ed Johnson Sr., Councillor Edward R. Johnson, and Councillor Connie Waddell. This tour allowed Huu-ay-aht to give our MP a glimpse of Huu-ay-aht’s connection to the land and sea, and why fisheries and ocean resource harvesting are a central piece of Huu-ay-aht culture.