The Common Voice

Heiltsuk fishermen harvesting herring spawn on kelp. Photo by Ian McAllister/Pacific Wild

Building resilience: Marine Protected Areas network

Mike Reid remembers when fishing in Heiltsuk territory was easier and far more productive. At age 12, he started commercial fishing with his grandfather and recalls catching their share of halibut, crabs, clams and other local marine staples without much trouble—all fairly close to home. “Now you have to go further, spend more time and burn more fuel,” says Reid…

A diver conducting abalone surveys

Science update: CCIRA’s published papers

CCIRA conducts science that matters to our people. All our research is guided by the objectives of our Nations’ marine use plans. And we’ve been busy! Here is a list of the papers we have published in top journals over the last two years. You can find links to these papers on our Reports page.

Measuring size of Dungeness crabs as part of CCIRA's crab research

Science and traditional knowledge synergy

Guided by the objectives of our Nations’ marine use plans, CCIRA scientists and their collaborators have been hard at work doing research that couples our traditional and local knowledge with modern scientific techniques to tackle questions about marine resources that matter to our people.

Clean up efforts for diesel and other pollutants spilled by the Nathan E. Stewart in Heiltsuk territory

Local filmmaker highlights need for better oil spill response

2017 was a big year for Heiltsuk’s Zoe Hopkins. Her debut film Kayaking to Klemtu won the Air Canada Audience Choice Award at the 2017 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. In the film, the primary character, Ella, is on a quest to prevent oil spills in her people’s territory within the Great Bear Rainforest. But

A herring seiner capturing thousands of herring in a set

Conservation win: herring roe fishery suspended

After years of difficulties with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), our Nations won a major victory this spring when DFO agreed to suspend the 2018 commercial herring roe fishery across the Central Coast. Central Coast herring populations have seen major declines from industrial fishing practices. The Heiltsuk and Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nations have each taken their own

The Common Voice, April 2017

Issue # 8, April 2017

We published the eighth issue of The Common Voice in April of 2017…

Heiltsuk Guardian Watchmen, Jordan Wilson, assessing Catch- Per-Unit-Effort during rockfish research at traditional Heiltsuk fishing sites.

Rockfish research linked to indigenous rights

Fifty years ago Charlie Mason could hop in a boat, travel a short distance from his home in Klemtu, catch enough rockfish for a meal or two, and then head back to town. “Today it is not that easy,” he says.

A young yelloweye rockfish among some rocks

Rockfish research: key results and potential management actions

Over the past 50 years the central coast has seen a significant increase in recreational and commercial rockfish fishing. Our Nations are concerned about the impact these fisheries are having on this important food resource. In response CCIRA launched a rockfish research project in 2013. Here, we present a summary of results from a recent rockfish study in our territories.

Grace Hans and Caroline Mack reviewing Nuxalk place name maps on a table

Nuxalk ancestral governance project

150 years ago western governments imposed a system of governance on our people that does not recognize our values, traditions or laws. Since then, our Nations have effectively been cut out of decisions that affect our people. The Indigenous Law Project has been one way that our Nations have been working to shift the conversation towards one that integrates our culture and makes us decision-makers in our territories.

Seine boat on the central coast.

Trust: A fundamental step towards collaborative fisheries management

Last year our Nations had some major challenges with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) with respect to the management of crab and herring. This is nothing new. In our attempts to protect the resources in our territories, our Nations have often gone head-to-head with DFO. We’ve had to.

CCIRA

Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance

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