Why is this First Nations jeweller unhappy with Marine Harvest rebrand?

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Ernie Smith’s traditional name is Mowisaht and feels that MOWI is too close to his traditional name.

Ernie Smith said that he was “surprised and unhappy” to find out Marine Harvest is rebranding to MOWI as it’s close to his traditional First Nations name.

Smith also owns Mowisaht Designs, a jewellery business in British Colombia Canada.

“This is my family name that’s been in my family for generations and generations, for thousands of years.” PHOTO Mowisah Designs

Mowisaht is Smith’s traditional name which has been passed down from members of his family for generations. According to Smith, the short form of his name is “Mowis”, which is a place in Nuu-chah-nulth territory. “Aht” refers to where people come from.

Smith said: “This is my family name that’s been in my family for generations and generations, for thousands of years. And I’m really not happy with them using this name, only because it’s too close to my name.”

“I don’t think they’re intentionally doing it and from what I understand, the family (Thor Mowinckel’s family) isn’t too happy with them utilizing this name either,” Smith added.

Smith told the news site that he reached out to Marine Harvest.

“I’ve already used this brand name for the last three years, but it’s my own traditional name and I can’t change my name that’s been given to me by my elders,” he added.