The Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk and Wuikinuxv people have always lived in harmony with our environment; our cultures are strongly tied to the land and sea. The complexity of our cultures and the permanence of our villages is a result of our respect for, and understanding of, our surrounding environment.
CCIRA Nations have managed our resources for millennia. Our hereditary structure and oral traditions have dictated how we manage our lands and oceans to ensure our resources provide for future generations. Unfortunately, colonialism has impacted and fragmented our traditional ways. Today, we recognize that to communicate effectively with other resource managers, our people, and other parties we must develop written policies that protect our resources for future generations. By formalizing our food fish policy we will:
- Better enable our local enforcement team to uphold traditional management practices
- Inform our people on the proper ways to harvest our resources
- Educate other parties about our management strategy for our food fisheries
- Create relationships with neighbouring nations by encouraging trade and working together on the harvest of marine resources
- Ensure DFO does not make management decisions that negatively impact our food fishing activities
CCIRA is facilitating community and fisheries committee meetings with each of the Nations to develop individual community food fish policies and a harmonized Central Coast food fish policy document. The food fish policies are part of a broader goal of restoring and rehabilitating fisheries resources in our territories. Through improved management and monitoring we will be better able to assess stock and ecosystem health, support in-season decision making and measure the impacts of competing commercial and recreational fisheries on the food fishery.