On Sunday, March 31st, on Lekwungen Territory (Victoria, BC), we are gathering at Centennial Square at 6pm for a lantern procession to the Legislature to hold a Vigil for Wild Salmon at 7pm.
As wild young salmon smolts prepare to swim out to sea, we are gathering to call for the protection of their habitat. Solidarity for Salmon will feature special guest speakers, music, drumming, lanterns and a giant 27ft salmon puppet named M’ia. Bring your drums, bring a candle, bring your Solidarity for Salmon.
Threats against salmon have been relentless: they have faced spill-off from mining pollution, forestry sedimentation, dams, climate change, and the immanent threat of oil spill catastrophes from pipeline projects, and super-tanker traffic. However, the longest ongoing threat facing salmon are open-net fish farms, which have been breeding grounds for sea lice and other invasive species, including the recently discovered piscine reovirus. Fish farms have decimated entire generations of wild salmon, leaving population gaps in their 4-year life cycle. No help can be expected from The Department of Fisheries and Oceans so long as it prioritizes aquaculture interests over ecological sustainability and Indigenous fishing rights.
As long-time wild salmon advocate, Elena Edwards explains, "There can be no replacement for a species such as wild salmon. With so much of life depending on wild salmon to survive, it falls to all of us who value a healthy living future to unite in solidarity to protect this life giving species. Wild salmon must no longer be compromised to death by industrial practices driven by greed. We owe it to the generations to come to stand together and say "No more compromise! Wild salmon must come first!"
M'ia is the name for salmon in the language of the Heiltsuk people, whose traditional, unceded territories surround the town of Bella Bella. Salmon fishing has sustained coastal lndigenous peoples for generations, but a century of industrial capitalism has taken a toll, and the communities whose very lives depend on salmon feel the impact of these consequences first. Together we stand united with the Indigenous Nations whose traditional livelihood is sustained by the wild salmon lifecycle.
M'ia the giant salmon puppet.
“Salmon are no strangers to facing uphill battles; they swim up-river, against the current, against gravity with strength and determination,” according to artist, and organizer, Kimberly Croswell. “M'ia was created to remind everyone we too can face any adversity and fight to preserve life and community, not simply by living in the present, but by ensuring the spawning of future generations to come.”
'Hau^axints q'uat Ku^7jan (Idle No More in Heiltsuk)
Join the event on facebook here.
No Compromise in the Defense of Wild Salmon!