HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO                                NISS students bring their demonstration to the IGA in Port McNeill.
Bad Video Embed Code

HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO NISS students bring their demonstration to the IGA in Port McNeill.

NISS students defy principal and walk out of class to protest fish farms

The group entered the IGA where they handed out flyers

A group of 12 North Island Secondary Students (NISS) walked out of classes for the second time in protest of the fish farming industry.

The students left the school grounds carrying signs, banners, and drums, during the Dec. 8 ‘Walk out for Wild Salmon” event in Port McNeill, which was organized by Grade 12 NISS Student Gwantilakw Hunt-Cranmer.

Hunt-Cranmer and fellow NISS student Laura Bullock read a statement and then the group marched down Campbell Way towards the IGA, where they entered the store and handed out flyers which detailed the statistics of wild salmon’s contribution to the B.C. economy.

“The youth are highly concerned about our future,” said Hunt-Cranmer, adding, “We need to see direct action from the government if they are serious about truth and reconciliation. If they truly care about First Nations people than they would stop the destruction towards our way of life.”

Bullock added that, “We have decided to walk out of our school to show that we stand in solidarity with Karissa Glendale and Molina Dawson, who have been occupying the Swanson Island and Midsummer fish farm for more than 70 days.”

Karisa Glendale and Molina Dawson are two of six people named in an injunction by Marine Harvest, requesting them to vacate the Midsummer Island site.

Glendale and Dawson are due back in provincial court on Dec. 14 after a 30-day adjournment was granted in order to allow them to prepare a defense, in the meantime they were court ordered to vacate the site.

RELATED: Port McNeill students walk out in fish farm protest

The first NISS walk out on Oct. 19 saw roughly 20 students participate, where they presented a statement to Principal Jay Dixon. However, the second walkout was not supported by NISS.

“We don’t condone the students walking out,” said Principal Jay Dixon, in a telephone conversation with the Gazette on Dec. 7. “Any student that is choosing to walk out will be marked as absent,” he added, stating, he would prefer it if the students “were in class learning.”

“I don’t think any principal wants their students to just leave school for any reason, especially if they are trying to get other students involved,” said Hunt-Cranmer. “It was nice that they did it the first time, but we don’t really need their support.”

The students did ask for the support of other students from across Vancouver Island.

“We contacted a few students and they agreed to do it but one of them ended up being out of town that day and the other one was shut down by their principal, but they decided to do a screening of Salmon Confidential instead,” said Bullock.

“It’s incredibly important that our voices are heard during this time,” said Ernest Alfred, who attended the student’s protest.

Alfred has been staying near Marine Harvest’s Swanson Island farm since late August.

“The real pressure needs to be written in a letter and sent to Mr. Horgan,” he added.

Marine Harvest declined to comment on this story.

Just Posted

The community services tent for people in need has found a home near Cook Street and Dallas Road. The Beacon Hill Park trust has prevented the tent from being installed inside park boundaries. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Help tent returns for the homeless near Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park

Homeless services tent installed on Cook Street to provide assistance for area’s homeless population

(File photo)
Infringement of rights is in the eye of the beholder

As I expected it would, our IRICE cartoon last week got a… Continue reading

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms first death from COVID-19

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read