Tlowitsis Nation

In the 1960s, the Tlowitsis were displaced from their village of Kalagwees on Turnour Island by the government. Members have been scattered, and some are struggling with addiction on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and elsewhere. The revenue from salmon farms is used in the development of the Tlowitsis’ new community, Nenagwas, which means ‘a place to come home to.’

Nenagwas is designed to bring members home and help them heal by connecting them with families and history. In addition to housing, the new community will have an administration office, council hall, recreational sports area, and a day school for young children where Kwakʼwala language immersion can take place. More salmon farms like Ga-guump mean more revenue for the Nation, which can assist in these homes, social programs, and good jobs on or servicing the farms.

The Tlowitsis and Grieg Seafood BC signed a partnership agreement in 2014. There are currently three farms operating in Tlowitsis traditional territory, and both parties recently applied jointly for a fourth.

We have built a solid relationship with Grieg Seafood over more than ten years of many meetings, visiting their farms and travelling to Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria to speak to regulators about our views of aquaculture. Our Guardians are on the water monitoring the farm activities as well as our members employed by Grieg.

We have taken a lot of time to learn about the industry and our partner before we decided to become involved more directly, and for us, adding more farms in our territory is the clear way forward. Our net-wash service company will also benefit from additional work for our members at a new farm. Industry, including aquaculture, develop community fisheries, and create a mechanism for collaborative governance of fisheries resources.

Chief John Smith