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Mar 25 2010

Letter published in Lumby Valley Times

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Subject: letter re: the Siska First Nations Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 12:45:22 -0700
From: contact@priscillajudd.ca
To: lvt@telus.net

Letter to my friends and neighbours in Lumby, Cherryville and Vernon.

Good news!
The Siska band purchased two grass-fed beef cattle, had them butchered and distributed to families in their community. Chief Fred Sampson sent a thank you for 147 cans of salmon, which I am passing on to you. We are relieved that the Siska band with young children, grandparents, brothers and sisters are not going hungry today. In our own small way, we helped with an immediate food crisis and judging by the comments under our Georgia Straight Article, many people are concerned and supported our efforts.

According to Bill Chu:
The Nicola Tribal Council has eight native bands. Most bands further away from the Fraser are worse off in getting salmon since the fishery might be opened for just two days, and those further away might not hear about it until too late. There is no doubt that the suffering caused by the sockeye closure is widespread. However, the worst impacted areas are those further north e.g. the Chilcotin bands.

…How can anyone raise enough to feed half of the status Indian population currently living within the Fraser River system? Which ever way one looks at it, it is a failure of the government’s fiduciary duty to the aboriginal people. Keeping people away from famine is any government’s minimum duty …

After hearing from Bill, I browsed around the Internet looking for Canada’s fiduciary duty. I went to the http://www.salmonguy.org From what I can understand, wild salmon are pledged to the BC First Nations for food and for selling before anyone else can catch it, freeze it, can it, ship it or eat it. It’s Canada’s duty to see that First Nations have salmon. That has not happened.

I was reading Geoff Meggs book “Salmon – Decline of the BC Fishery” (available in our Library) and when Alexander Mackenizie was going down the Fraser river he recognized a thriving and well managed Native fishing industry. But, he also declared white man’s ownership of the salmon and made a prophetic threat: “that we could prevent those fish from coming up the river” and “that we possess the power to starve them and their children”. Alexander Mackenzie’s threat may be unfolding which is absolutely unforgivable.

I will not lose hope that salmon will return to our rivers. I invite you to visit my Internet blog http://www.priscillajudd.ca/theXpress

Thanks again everyone for helping with donations of salmon for the Siska First Nations and the Lumby Valley Times for printing my letters.
Priscilla Judd

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