First Nation signs net-cleaning contract with Grieg Seafood

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Tlowitsis Nation to service salmon farms in Clio Channel, British Columbia.

The Tlowitsis Nation and Grieg Seafood BC signed a contract that will see the Nation’s business, Chief’s Pride Aquaculture Corp assume responsibility of all net-cleaning operations at Grieg’s salmon farms in Clio Channel commencing June, the salmon farmer wrote in a press release.

There are three Grieg farms in Tlowitsis territory, named Noo-la, Wa-kwa and Tsa-ya, which are Kwak’wala for ‘big brother, little sister’, and ‘little brother’.

The contract includes a five-year lease of net-cleaning equipment, a skiff, and crane barge.

“The Tlowitsis are always looking for opportunities that will benefit the Nation monetarily and provide potential jobs for our members,” said councillor for the Nation Thomas Smith.

PHOTO: Grieg BC

“As much as there seems to be controversy about the business, we believe many First Nations should be looking at long-term relationships with salmon farming partners. There are only so many opportunities available, and most of the Nations have traditional territories adjacent to the inlet waters – it only makes sense. As a participant in the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance’s Indigenous Partnership Network, it looks like more Nations will be looking at aquaculture in the future,” he added.

Grieg has farmed in Tlowitsis’ territory in agreement since 2014.

“We’re really trying as a company to learn about, and advance, reconciliation with First Nations, and this allows us to do so with a trusted partner,” said managing director of Grieg BC Rocky Boschman.

“We need to move beyond traditional benefits agreements and find other ways that we can work closer together,” added Boschman.