June 1, 2023
ABBOTSFORD — To mark B.C. Wild Salmon Day, the provincial government is providing more than $17 million for wild salmon restoration throughout the province to ensure present and future generations of British Columbians enjoy the benefits of this iconic species.
“Wild salmon are at the foundation of Indigenous culture and are integral to B.C.’s food security, ecosystems and economy,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship. “The $17.25 million we’re providing the First Nations Fisheries Council and the Pacific Salmon Foundation will support wild salmon recovery and Indigenous capacity in communities all around B.C. to protect our wild salmon populations.”
The bulk of the funding ($15 million) will be shared equally between the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the First Nations Fisheries Council (FNFC) to work to protect, conserve and restore the abundance of Pacific wild salmon in British Columbia. Science, Indigenous knowledge and data will be used to actively advance habitat restoration and climate adaptation. The remaining $2.25 million will go to the FNFC to support this work.
This funding for wild Pacific salmon recovery builds on a number of ongoing initiatives that directly and indirectly support wild salmon habitat protection and restoration in the province. This includes the B.C. government’s historic $100-million funding of the Watershed Security Strategy and Fund in March 2023 and the joint federal-provincial $285.7 million through Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund to restore abundant wild salmon populations.
Wild salmon rely on accessible rivers and streams for different life stages and are susceptible to the effects of major flood events. B.C.’s flood strategy will be in its next phase of implementation after public engagement early in 2023. It aims to build capacity throughout the province for flood resilience, thereby protecting wild salmon habitat and communities.
The Province also renewed its memorandum of understanding with the FNFC in January 2023, which continues an effective partnership related to fisheries and the aquatic environment, and honours the principles of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund project overviews: BC Salmon Restoration Fund project overviews (dfo-mpo.gc.ca)
B.C.’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy: Climate preparedness and adaptation – Province of British Columbia (gov.bc.ca)
Ministry of Water, Land and Resource
Senior Manager, Communications
Pacific Salmon Foundation
First Nations Fisheries Council of B.C.
Coast Communications and Public Affairs
What people are saying about wild salmon restoration
Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Aquaculture and Fisheries —
“On B.C. Wild Salmon Day, it’s important we recognize how much this iconic fish underpins our lives, economies and culture. And we’re working to restore wild salmon populations in our rivers and watersheds. Whether it is to create fish passages that would allow salmon and other fish access their upstream habitat or to deal with river impacts of flood debris, we’re taking action to co-ordinate wild salmon recovery.”
Chief Dalton Silver, Semá:th First Nation —
“I am encouraged by this announcement and the investment it reflects in our shared commitment to addressing the critical challenges facing wild salmon recovery. As evidenced by the 2021 floods, Semá:th First Nation is at the forefront of a changing climate. Resourcing First Nations in B.C. to support ongoing efforts to restore and protect our territory is a vital part of addressing the impacts from climate change.”
Michael Meneer, president and CEO, Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) —
“PSF never goes it alone and we are excited to deploy this provincial investment with our many and diverse salmon conservation partners, including community streamkeeper organizations, conservation non-profits, educational and research institutions and Indigenous entities across British Columbia. Wild salmon are iconic to British Columbia, underpinning Indigenous cultures, the economy and ecosystems from headwaters to open ocean. And the reality we face with climate change is that wild salmon are in trouble, and we know that the future of Pacific salmon depends on all of us, including the Province, making investments that advance recovery.”
Hugh Braker, president, First Nations Fisheries Council of BC (FNFC) —
“Extinction of wild salmon is not an option. For the First Nations people of B.C., the loss of salmon is a threat to our culture, traditions and way of life: salmon are integral through songs, dances, names and our seasonal activities. The loss of just one species of salmon is unacceptable. Today, we applaud the Province for taking steps to save BC wild salmon, FNFC stands ready to work with the Province, the Pacific Salmon Foundation.”
Jordan Point, executive director, First Nations Fisheries Council of BC —
“FNFC and PSF have a proven record of tangible results in their work towards salmon stewardship in B.C. These grants are a step forward in our collective efforts to protect wild salmon populations and underscores the importance of working together to address the critical challenges facing wild salmon in B.C. We are committed to collaborating and reconciliation as the path forward to build broad collaboration across B.C. for the long-term sustainability of wild Pacific salmon.”
Murray Ned, executive director, Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance —
“The investment in FNFC and PSF is a promising example of how we can all work together to address crisis and critical challenges to wild salmon recovery. I’ve seen first-hand the work and commitment of PSF and this will be a great investment opportunity for FNFC on behalf of First Nations in B.C. This grant will further empower the essential work they are already doing to support long-term existence of wild salmon in B.C.”
Robert Phillips, First Nations Summit Political Executive —
“Aquatic ecosystems, especially wild salmon, are critical for the identity, culture and well-being of Indigenous communities in B.C. The signature of an MOU between the Province and FNFC signals an important commitment by the Province to continue implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. The accompanying investment in FNFC will support First Nations in B.C. and lead to increased involvement and influence of policy, legislation and decision-making relating to aquatic ecosystems.”