Mayor Helin, along with the fisheries committee members and staff, met with representatives from DFO regarding your Section 35.1 rights to fish for Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) purposes.
The Mayor informed DFO that their decision to arbitrarily close the FSC Fishery without meaningful consultation is an infringement of the Lax Kw’alaams members Aboriginal Rights protected by Section 35.1 of the Canadian Constitution. He also informed them that although Lax Kw’alaams and its members support conservation measures, we do not agree that the species, based on the current information, are at risk.
He informed DFO that there are too many others encroaching on Coast Tsimshian resources. That there is sufficient sockeye in the area to meet the Lax Kw’alaams members sustenance needs. “Keep all others out of the Territory” Mayor Helin said. “It is easy to Identify our members,” he stated, “just look at the first 3 numbers of their status cards.”
Councillor Stan Denis, made it clear that DFO did not engage in meaningful consultation, and they should seek to involve members with traditional knowledge when making their decision.
Mayor Helin, indicated that Lax Kw’alaams would not stand by and let DFO make decisions that infringe the Lax Kw’alaams Rights.
“Close all Recreational Sport Fishing” Mayor Helin stated.by