First Nations occupy second B.C. salmon farm

PORT HARDY, B.C. — Members of two British Columbia First Nations say they have occupied a salmon farm on a small island on the province’s coast, the second such protest to be held in the past week.

Chief Willie Moon, also known as Okwilagame, said about 16 members of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwamis arrived at the Wicklow Point salmon farm on Thursday afternoon.

He said about five protesters plan to stay until the provincial and federal governments revoke permits for the facility on Broughton Island, about 50 kilometres east of Port Hardy.

Moon said his community has opposed the industry since it was first introduced and has never signed an agreement with any company operating in its traditional territories. The province has disregarded the First Nation’s opposition when issuing permits, he said.

“They just go ahead and do it. For me, that’s a slap in the face,” he said. “How can the governments of Canada and B.C. say they want to do reconciliation with First Nations when yet there’s still destruction in our waters, on our lands, in our territory?”

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