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Cohen Commission Report: CSTC Must Be Involved

Carrier Sekani Tribal Council
News Release
October 31, 2012

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Cohen Commission Report: CSTC Must Be Involved

Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada.  Today Justice Bruce Cohen released the much anticipated report from the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River (also known as the Cohen Commission).  Over the last three years the Cohen Commission heard from 179 witnesses, including First Nations from Carrier Sekani territories regarding the cumulative impacts affecting the decline of the Fraser River Sockeye (Dakelh name: Talo).

Tribal Chief Terry Teegee said, "Talo is extremely important for the survival and well-being of Carrier Sekani peoples.  We are the stewards of the headwaters of the Nechako and Fraser basins.  We will be closely examining the 75 recommendations brought forward from the Cohen Commission to ensure that the Crown upholds its responsibility to protect fish and fish habitat for future generations." He continued, "There is no single cause for the decline in Fraser River Sockeye Salmon, however the CSTC agrees with Commissioner Cohen that the recent federal amendments to the Environmental Assessment, and Fisheries Acts are very troubling.  The Harper government is selling our resources and expects industry to be responsible stewards.  No way. This is unacceptable and counterproductive.  Carrier Sekani First Nations must be part of recovery and management plans."

"The CSTC will be joined by other First Nations and Canadians voicing our perspectives on ensuring that high risk threats like oil pipelines/tankers, fish farms and over fishing are minimized or stopped.  Just like the mountain pine beetle infestation, a main source of the Fraser Sockeye decline was climate change.  It is the elephant in the room that no one is dealing with."  Climate scientists predict that the mean annual global temperature will rise between 2-5 degrees Celsius over the next 90 years. 

The CSTC also supports the wild salmon policy and all efforts directed at incorporating the meaningful, government-to-government decision-making of First Nations to ensure that fisheries and other resources are managed properly.  "We depend on the salmon, and the salmon depend on us.  We hold the responsibility to ensure that salmon habitat is protected and has an opportunity to recover", stated Tribal Chief Teegee.

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For further information contact:
Tribal Chief Terry Teegee, RPF: 250-562-6279; Cell 250-640-3256

The Cohen Commission Report is available at: http://www.cohencommission.ca

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