Fisheries rights celebrated with packed Hupacasath hall | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Fisheries rights celebrated with packed Hupacasath hall

Port Alberni, BC

Nuu-chah-nulth-aht filled the Hupacasath House of Gathering on Friday, as the hundreds in attendance celebrated the court-affirmed right of five First Nations to commercially harvest fish from their respective territories.

The Ha’oom Fisheries Society hosted the Five Nations’ Fisher Ball on Nov. 17, recognizing the continued operations of T’aaq-wiihak fisheries. Run by the Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations, this commercial fishery operates based on the rights first upheld by the B.C. Supreme Court in 2009, followed by multiple appeals and court decisions.

The Ha’oom event ran through the afternoon and early evening, with feasting, cultural performances from the nations directly involved with T’aaq-wiihak and the presentation of carved paddles to various individuals. Some speakers noted the benefits upheld by court decisions, while pledging to continue the fight for Canada to fully recognize a livelihood that Nuu-chah-nulth people have exercised for countless generations on Vancouver Island’s west coast. 

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