Once again it is up to us.
The Get Out Migration
was a powerful and wildly successful effort. People in every town we passed through and on the road volunteered their time and expertise and the result is emergence of the people of the salmon, people who are strong, independent and understand the contribution of salmon in our lives, our future and our economy. The First Nation voice set the tone and eloquence - uniting, legendary and welcoming. People of all ages walked side-by-side to ensure a future where our children can thrive. We shut down one lane of highway 17 and the police kindly let us walk without traffic lights along Quadra and Government Streets. The Parliament lawns reportedly hold 20,000 people and looking out over the sea of people less than one third of the lawn was visible.
And yet BC's two biggest newspapers mention there were only "nearly 1000 people". This is so wrong in so many ways. [Editor's note: Even the police estimated at least 5000 people on the scene.
("Sea of people marches to fight fish farms" (The Times Colonist, 9th May): http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/people+marches+fight+fish+farms/3006060/story.html)
There is no mention of our First Nation families and friends and the number of people was five to ten times lower than reality. You can see video blogs of the Get Out Migration at salmonaresacred.org
Those of us who were at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria on May 8 saw who we are and that we exist, a powerful, peaceful, huge community of people! As we walked down the highway thousands more honked, waved, gave us a thumbs up, leaned out the windows cheering! Musicians played for us from the mountains to the sea. I believe we are a majority, but with the stroke of a pen thousands of us were deleted, so that the rest of Canada and the world do not know we exist.
The power of one is all we have BUT WE ALL HAVE IT! If we use it, we will get to keep our fish, our communities and our way of life. The great walk for wild salmon was peaceful, powerful, fun and it is clearly not over. Each us must do what we can to impress on government that they work for us and that we simply demand the opportunity to thrive, that we want our generous fish, the salmon. There are no losers here if you remove the European shareholders in the salmon farm companies from this equation. Land-based aquaculture exists, is feasible and is being done by British Columbia, there could be jobs in it if government supported it. There is no reason we need to beg for low paying jobs, raising fish we cannot touch, when we could have millions of salmon returning to us!
Here are some ideas:
• Please reply and tell me if your First Nation, town, society, business, etc. supports the removal of fish farms from the ocean. I and others will do what we can to make you visible!
• Write to the Times Colonist editor and tell them how many people you saw: letterstc.canwest.com
•Write your MP to Get salmon farms out of our oceans: http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=Current&Language=E
• Write your MLA to support BC land-based aquaculture and to buy back the salmon farm ocean leases: http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-7.htm
• Write to MP Fin Donnelly to say you support his bill to remove salmon farms from the ocean: http://www.findonnelly.ca/
• Write to Stephen Harper and tell him its time for a BC Fisheries Minister. FYI John Duncan supports salmon farming; personally I have found John Cummins the best informed about our fish: pmpm.gc.ca
We have some Get Out Migration and Salmon are Sacred T shirts left if you want one go to the donations button 1/2 way down the home page at salmonaresacred.org. Make a $25 donation and in the "message space" give your size and whether you want the Black or White shirts. Make sure you fill in your address. For the Back Bone of the Coast shirts go to http://www.oceanaura.com/magento/index.php/clothing
In answer to all the folks wanting to purchase my books go to alexadramorton.ca
Salmon Are Sacred and we do exist!