Members of Tseshaht First Nation sing and drum during a peaceful protest outside of the DFO office in Port Alberni on Sept. 1, 2020. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Tseshaht First Nation and DFO sign fisheries agreement

Announcement comes after two protests

After days of protests, Tseshaht First Nation has signed an agreement with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

Tseshaht announced on Friday, Sept. 4 that the Nation has signed an economic opportunity (EO) agreement for the remainder of the 2020 salmon fishery, as well as the 2021 salmon fisheries.

The announcement comes two days after members of the nation blocked the Clutesi Haven Marina boat launch in a protest against the DFO.

READ MORE: Tseshaht First Nation protests over fishing rights on Somass River

In a press release, Tseshaht First Nation thanked the contributions of the many people, organizations, First Nations and citizens who called or sent letters in support of their right to fish.

“Although this was a very challenging time for Tseshaht First Nation, we would like to specifically acknowledge our community for uniting and standing together in solidarity for our right to fish and sell that was fought for by many generations before us,” said Cynthia Dick, elected chief councillor, in a press release.

“Tseshaht is committed to working with all stakeholders, sectors and governments to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy this sacred resource and we manage it in a sustainable way. We are stronger when we all work together.”

According to Dick, EO fisheries provide the opportunity for Tseshaht to bring more than $1 million into the local economy.

“Tseshaht is now ready to help not only the local economy, but dozens if not hundreds of Tseshaht families and children,” she said.

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