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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry to stir the ol pot but explain this to me, Mission boat launch today FN were openly selling sockeye to anyone who drove up, simply drive up tell em what you want if they didn't have em wait ten minutes till they brought the next net in, it was a gong show!!
 

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Re: Natives to Defy Ban

roscoe-pco said:
Sorry to stir the ol pot but explain this to me, Mission boat launch today FN were openly selling sockeye to anyone who drove up, simply drive up tell em what you want if they didn't have em wait ten minutes till they brought the next net in, it was a gong show!!
Did you call RAPP? If so, How long did it take for DFO to come down and do something?
 

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The selling of fish issue by some First Nations, is a tough one, whatever species of fish it is.

On one side, we have a large commercial fleet out on the ocean catching loads of sockeye, selling them to all the stores, restaurant supply chains, etc, and making millions of dollars. On the other side of the coin we have some First nations bands selling sockeye for quick cash.

If I were a First Nations citizen, I would not want to eat fish all the time. I would think it would be perfectly reasonable to trade or sell some of my fish for other food items, or cash to purchase a variety of other foods.

Having said that, I still feel that allowing First Nations people to sell fish is impossible to regulate. If it is allowed to happen, either legally, or by turning a blind eye, it promotes a cash based fishery and would likely encourage some fishermen to catch more fish than their alloted harvest quota so as to make money.

More importantly, if the sockeye have such low returns this year, how can anyone justify catching them and selling them? One might argue that the commercial fleet did so, but at that time it wasn't known that the sockeye run was going to crash like it has. Catching them for food and ceremonial purposes is one thing, but for economic purposes when conservation issues are such a concern right now, that's far too irresponsible for me to accept.

If DFO or RCMP try to act on such fish sales it opens up a political can of worms. Some First Nations people, regardless of the legality of it, obviously feel they should be allowed to sell fish.

Some members here have brought this topic up constantly, and it is an interesting topic to discuss. So I have moved a few comments and created this new thread and made a few points of my own to try and cover some of the possible angles of the discussion.

So I ask this...What are others opinions on this issue...?

I will warn you now though, keep this topic clean. Do not generalize, or blindly attack the First Nations peoples. I did not create this topic for that purpose. We're talking fish sales by some First nations groups and we're talking about the legality, politics, and regulation of it. KEEP IT CLEAN.

Thx,

rib
 

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If there is no law in place that directly states that the FN cannot sell sockeye, or any fish, commercially or privately, DFO doesn't have a leg to stand on. I don't understand where in (fishing for food, social, and ceremonial purposes) selling for cash comes in, but like I say, they can't enforce a law if there isn't one.

I have fished on FN land in the past, and I can say that not all bands disregard DFO, many are as concerned as you and I about the dwindling fish numbers.

Capnage
 

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It's like it's always been in Canada!
All people are equal except some are more equal than others.......
If the FN fishery is for food and ceremonial purposes then that is what it should be for. Which is fine by me.
If they want to use it for monitory gain then they should have to get a license like the rest of us equal people and follow the same laws and provisions that we have to.
IMHO
 

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My opinion - Native's have been selling and trading fish for hundreds of years. When it was a means of survival for their tribes years ago I would agree that it was completely fine for them to do that. Now, it is not a matter of survival it is simply an easy way to make a lot of money.

It is unfair that a commercial fisherman must endure thousands of dollars in licensing fees and expenses to comply with fishing laws when some Native's can simply go out without a license and commercial legal practices and catch fish for the purpose of making a profit.

In any other industry if a competitor was allowed to have such an unfair advantage it would be outrageous. Think if Restaurant "A" did not have to comply with any safety rules could pay their employees $2, Restaurant “B” had to comply with all the rules and had huge expenses to make sure his establishment was legal - both of these restaurants were from the same country. It is crazy to think that we really do have two sets of laws one for "Regular Canadians" and one for "Native Canadians." (I am not 100% certain if there is a law against FN selling fish) IF anyone has information on laws on Native's selling fish please post them.

Then to think that this was over something that has happened hundreds of years ago is mind boggling. If some of the Native's arguments are because we have sold and traded fish our entire life we have the right to, that argument is simply outdated. It is time to change and stop living in the past.
 

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They have been notified...Don't know when they will attend,but I will be out there in the boat later and will have the camera along .....The DFO fellow who answered the phone was polite but sounded like I was the 100th callabout FN sales...Asked him if it was allowed,answer probably not...Asked him if there were any FN commercial openings,,answer nope...Asked him if he had dozens of calls today about FN sales,,answer was yup and more than dozens...
Isn't this just wonderful.....Makes me want to just give up and say to heck with it,but ,I will not.....
I am more than a little pissed and I'll be doing some more digging and phoning around this afternoon...
Its very hard to keep a civil tongue when you get the " thankyou for calling ,but don't know when or if we can do a lot about this",,but I did so far.....
Might have to dust off the video camera and get some time stamped footage.......This is totally unacceptable,not just because the fishery is closed, but because the numbers are so low... :wallbash:
See what happens when you have too much time on your hands... :peace:
 

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I have this to day:

MANY many years ago, the first nations people would catch these fish, and they would smoke them for their own use, and if they wanted, would trade this salmon to other tribes or European settlers for other types of food or necesseties. This some-what relates to today... as ribwart said, "If I were a First Nations citizen, I would not want to eat fish all the time. I would think it would be perfectly reasonable to trade or sell some of my fish for other food items, or cash to purchase a variety of other foods." In my opinion, if the FN's don't want to eat salmon all the time, they should be able to do what they want with the salmon they caught. BUT, if this salmon was not caught legally, then there is a whole other story. There are many arguments that could be brought up in regards to this, such as " 'They' are not selling the salmon at a reasonable price", or that it was not in fact caught within the time of a FN opening for sockeye, making the catch illegal. Or, that they do not need the money to buy other necessities and are just doing it to line their pockets. There are too many complications brought up, so I think that they should NOT be able to sell their catch.

Another point that GrandA brought up,
GrandA said:
Then to think that this was over something that has happened hundreds of years ago is mind boggling. If some of the Native's arguments are because we have sold and traded fish our entire life we have the right to, that argument is simply outdated. It is time to change and stop living in the past.
I agree, what happened many years ago should not be made up for now when we need conservation more than ever. Taking these fish out of the water when the fish is not needed for the tribe is unnecessary. The fish are more important than the money in our pockets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
frustrating isn't it Abby like I said seen so many things, I report it and nothin. By the way I did not witness this but apparently RCMP did video-tape the selling of fish for awhile.
 

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Perhaps it would be a good idea to make this a really public discussion...? I am thinking of calling local TV stations and seeing if any of them are interested in doing a story on this...

What do you guys think?

Of course I will need some specific info, maybe even the cooperation of a few of you with boats so we could find out where to arrange a sale or two. I can't just tell the TV guys to go to mission boat launch, we have to guarantee they'll be there...

Might be an eye opener for many and bring other sides of the debate into the open. Like I said earlier in a another thread, the sportfishing community has taken a bit of beating publically. I think it would be good for the public to know that the other side of the coin is tarnished also...
 

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Times have changed since FN have had to trade fish to gain supplies, or necessitites. C'mon with all the handouts the government have been giving them its about time they get their heads together and use some of the other resources put in place for them to get a better quality of life or what ever they are trying to gain by selling these fish. There is absolutley NO reason they should be out netting fish to sell off to public, its not like if they dont sell or trade their fish this summer their family will go hungry or freeze to death this winter. :pissed:Bottom line is record low numbers of returning fish. If their mindset is we were here first and this is our land to do what we want, why with that train of thought should DFO, RCMP, and the government let them get away with basically poaching the last or what could be the last of the fishery. Equal rights, that is the argument from both sides, it always was and always will be. The river is closed, and should be closed to everyone! PERIOD! Including the act of selling fish illegally. They should deal with the same punishment as a white man would get if he was harvesting fish on a closed river.my :2cents:
 

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In the interest of discussion...

An excerpt from an email from DFO...

Sometimes the point is made that there is nothing in law that states that First Nations people cannot sell food fish. That is not correct in that the original Sparrow decision indicated FN's have a priority for Food (self explanatory), Social (vague), and Ceremonial (somewhat self explanatory) purposes. The definition of food is clear. The definition of ceremonial is a bit harder to nail down because there are too many shades of grey. Obviously a wedding, funeral or naming ceremony would constitute a ceremony, but what about a baby shower or elders meeting? Normally the first ones get a license but the latter requests do not, however exactly what constitutes a ceremony is in the eye of the beholder and less clear to define.

The harder one to define is 'social' as many First Nations claim that in order to meet their 'social' needs such as adequate housing, warm clothing, kids sports equipment etc., requires funds and therefore the fish are sold in order to purchase these things. (Too many use the funds for other items, but that is another debate).

However, the test the courts use to determine if something is an 'Aboriginal Right' is whether or not the First Nation can show that the activity was in place 'pre-contact', i.e. before contact with European settlers. It can be demonstrated that FN's did trade and barter with other FN's for things such as other types of meat, leather, clothing and a whole host of items, but as there was no monetary currency in place at the time, things were not sold per se.

FN's have gone to court on a number of occasions to claim that they have an aboriginal right to commercially sell salmon, other wildlife products, lumber etc, and can demonstrate that they did so with the Hudson Bay company. However the courts have repeatedly tossed those cases out because FN's could not demonstrate that it was done pre-contact. Therefore the FN's have a right to 'trade and barter' with other FN's but are not allowed to sell fish. The licenses that are issued to FN's clearly state that the fish cannot be sold. The Treaties being negotiated clearly state the same thing.

So, although there is no clear court decision on what 'social' means the Canadian and Provincial governments do not allow sales. It is anticipated that one day a court challenge will occur to better define the term social, however there is nothing to date.

That is a laymans summary of complex law related to aboriginal issues.


I am working on getting some input regarding the RAPP phone line, and What DFO can or cannot do with regards to illegal fish sales.

Thanks,

rib

 

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To be honest Rosco I do think your trying to stir the pot, and no matter what you say or do FIRST NATIONS are going to continue to sell there catch! It has been going on for as long as as natives have been fishing! Myself being a FIRST NATION member but born and raised in the city not on a reserve, understand your views and points just like other members on this site! But to be honest it's happening everywhere and sad to say it will continue for many many years to come! my :2cents:

CK
 

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Generally I am not vexed with FN cash sales as I know it will happen no matter what anyone(DFO and RCMP included) does...Its basically unenforcable short of putting night vision equipped boats on the river and shore and creating a military action..Not cool...
But,and here's where I get pissed off beyond the normal, when stocks are low,and this low numbers is confirmed by several methods(fish counts,test sets,visual reporting etc) then darn it, keep the bloody nets out of the river.
Not only are these gentlemen thumbing their noses at DFO and the rest of us who respect the no fishing orders,they are saying to heck with nature ,we're netting no matter what...
The defininitions the Cheam band are using to rationalize their harvest are very loose at best..
Ceremonial encompasses whatever the flavour of the day is and can include almost any reason for a social gathering of the band or segments of the band...
Clear definitions will most probably never be agreed to as government and FN have a hard time even agreeing on where to meet to discuss issues. Compliance with agreements is only voluntary at best and there we sit,treadin water again.
Co-existance on the river between all users of the resource must continue no matter what happens, should we not attempt to make it peaceful and fair?? Yes the dreaded "F" word....
Debates like this have and will continue at nausium for eternity ,but when declining stocks are at issue and segments of the population fail to act in appropriate ways to protect the existing stock,I along with those who voice their concerns here regularly ,have a right to be listened to...
To be dismissed as just another whining white guy who is pissed because he can't fish for salmon is patronizing at best and equals the stereo-typing that some less than sensitive individuals put forward regarding FN peoples.
If my comments rub some of you the wrong way,GOOD,they're meant to...
If DFO wants first hand reports they will continue to get them until my speed dial wears out and they are able to properly enforce harvest quotas and ensure salmon stocks not go the way of the east coast cod fishery..
Those of you that see incidents ,record them and report them. Everyone has a cell phone these days,put the appropriate numbers on your speed dial..
The outdoors and their resources are there for all to enjoy, hopefully for generations to come. Lets make an effort to see it happens.. ;D
 
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