(Coast Salish Territory, BC – February 7, 2018) – BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee supports amendments to the Fisheries Act introduced in the House of Commons yesterday that will effectively reverse the damaging amendments made under the former Harper government in 2012. While those amendments created uncertainty for protection and lower environmental standards, the amendments we see today reflect a commitment to healthier environments and respect for First Nations values and knowledge.
Regional Chief Teegee stated, “I hope that these amendments will not only bring greater protections to fish and their habitats but will provide a clear framework and path for First Nations to provide expertise, stewardship, and be involved in decisions that affect our inherent rights.”
Additional protections for First Nations include: addressing a long-standing concern from many First Nations regarding the confidentiality of traditional knowledge being put on display for public audiences and proponents. Under the new amendments, knowledge will be protected unless explicit permission is given by community or individual who has brought the information forward.
Regional Chief Teegee is also the Co-Chair of the AFN National Fisheries Commission (NFC), alongside Regional Chief Roger Augustine (New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island). The NFC is meeting in Musqueam Territory next week and these amendments to the federal Fisheries Act will be further discussed as well as other items such as the establishment of a national secretariat for the negotiation and implementation of Supreme Court decisions regarding fisheries (based on AFN Resolution #76/2017).
For further information, contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee
BC Assembly of First Nations