Chief Archie Robinson Sr. of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais NationKitasoo / Xai’xais was was a “key person in developing the relationship with Mowi (then Nutreco), sitting at the table in the very first meeting”.
A leader of a First Nation Kitasoo/Xai’xais – who was integral to BC salmon farming upon their territory – has passed away.
Mowi Canada West posted on social media: “With the passing of Chief Archie Robinson Sr. our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies are with the family and the Kitasoo / Xai’xais people. Chief Robinson has been a friend and partner for over 20 years and we mourn his passing”.
The Kitasoo/Xai’Xais began farming and processing salmon since the late 1980’s, forming a partnership for the business with Mowi in 1998.
With the passing of Chief Archie Robinson Sr, our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies are with the family and the Kitasoo / Xai'xais people. Chief Robinson has been a friend and partner for over 20 years and we mourn his passing.
— Mowi Canada West (@MowiCanadaWest) January 5, 2020
Many posted their condolences to Hereditary Chief, Food Fish Council, Elder, RSO, Robinson Sr in the comments, “a great leader and visionary for his Nation”.
In a newsletter from 2017, current Mowi Scotland spokesperson (and former Director of Public Affairs Marine Harvest Canada) Ian Roberts wrote about how he first approached The Kitasoo / Xai’xais about salmon farming over 20 years ago. Robinson Sr was integral in doing so in Klemtu, British Columbia, Canada.
He wrote that in June 1997 that he first stepped Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation traditional territory. “In the mid-1990s Marine Harvest was invited to the community to consider partnering with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais-owned salmon aquaculture businesses: Kitasoo Aquafarms and Kitasoo Seafoods. In 1998 an agreement was reached, and in October 2000 the first salmon we stocked were processed at Kitasoo Seafoods fish plant”.
At the time, Roberts explained that it took 27 hours to process 900 fish on that first day. “I thought that maybe it was my unskilled labour slowing down the line,” he recalled. Today it processes 1000 fish each hour.
Roberts told SalmonBusiness: “Archie was a key person in developing the relationship with Mowi (then Nutreco), sitting at the table in the very first meeting. As hereditary chief of Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Archie spent a lifetime putting his community first, working hard to provide opportunity for the community’s youth whether it be education, sport or employment. He had always held Mowi to the highest standard and thus gained much respect from Mowi staff and his community”.
In 2019, Mowi Canada West entered into a new 10-year agreement with the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais First Nation for economic development and employment centred around salmon farming and processing in Klemtu, British Columbia.