Calling Wild Salmon People
(Adams River, Oct. 4) After 18 years of decline, the 2010 Fraser River Sockeye return was so big it fed whales, eagles and a $500 million commercial fishery as the fish moved down the coast. They are now transporting 45 million kilograms of ocean nutrients deep into the interior of the province.
The implications are staggering. People and salmon came to British Columbia 1000s of years ago. As salmon built the earth with their bodies, the people built a culture that respected the fish they depended on. In this way people and fish prospered together. The Fraser sockeye are demonstrating this opportunity still exists.
Thirty-four million sockeye returned to the Fraser and we don’t know why. They thrived in spite of us. Imagine if we worked intelligently with this fish, with our forests, and with the marine and fresh water environments. We won the lottery this year, but societies cannot survive on the luck of the draw. We are rich, but only as long as we remain ecologically intact.
The life cycle of salmon spans the province of British Columbia from the headwaters, through our towns to the coast. If we considered them essential and gauged our behavior in terms of impact on wild salmon we would instantly have to consider affects up and downstream along this living corridor. This simple shift in vision would create a social and ecological maturity with enormous possibility. We could work with rather than against our natural resources. Today's, governments appear blind to long-term prosperity beyond their term in office.
We still live in a democracy so we can change government, but it is not enough to just let elections happen to us. We need candidates that will take care of the home we share. Imagine being happy to pay taxes, because you believed in your government?
Here is what I propose. Keeping your current party membership, let’s build an enormous voting block across all parties standing for the values above. Starting in November, I will contact every politician in British Columbia to hear their plan to achieve sustainable prosperity based on sound social, ecological and economic principles. Wild salmon are a living icon of democracy and we choose their name to represent us www.wildsalmonpeople.ca
If politicians don't answer, I will post that too, but the more of us there are the more answers we will get. If there are enough of us a political party will rise or adapt to meet us. This is our home and we have every right to have a say in what happens here. At the next election we need to be ready to vote for what is best for us.
I am on a mission for wild salmon over the next 30 days traveling throughout the Fraser watershed to learn from the wild salmon people of this river. On the 20th we begin a 5 day paddle from Hope to Vancouver and on the 25th we will land at Vanier Park in Vancouver and walk to the opening of the sockeye Inquiry to support Justice Cohen in his very difficult pursuit of truth about what is happening to these fish. You can follow this journey at http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/