Aboriginal Aquaculture Association

British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association

Mainstream Canada

Crieg Seafood - food from the world...

Express Custom Trailers Mfg

Express Custom Mfg

Progressive Metal Fabricators LTD

Badinotti Net Services Canada Ltd.

Flurer Smokery Ltd.

Island Scallops Ltd.

French Creek Seafoods Ltd.

AKVA Group

Grassoline

Keltic Seafoods Limited

Cards Aquaculture Products Ltd.

High Tide Seafood

ABC Precast & Ready Mix Ltd.

U.B. Diving, Courtenay BC, Phone 250-338-0161 or Toll Free 1-877-883-DIVE (3483)

Industrial Surface Technologies Inc.
In this modern world of fast food and premade meals, we often forget to ask ourselves where is my meal coming from? In Canada much of the seafood we consume and export is harvested or grown by First Nations. This includes some of the fresh water fish that may be served or sold to you. In your purchasing of seafood or other fish products coming from lakes or rivers that are natural harvest or farm raised, you are in essence contributing to supporting the revenue generation for many aboriginal people.

Fisherman in CanoeOn the coast of British Columbia, of western Canada, we as First Nations were and are heavily dependent upon the marine resources of our traditional territories. Salmon, halibut, herring, crab, prawn, cod, shrimp, clams, oysters, razor clams, scallops, mussels, sole, rock fish, and even seal have been staples in our diets for thousands of years. Even in this modern day, we still rely heavily upon the sea to help support our families according to seasonal harvests.

Native on rockBetween the three seas that surround Canada, every aboriginal tribe depended upon the fish and other creatures of the water world to some extent. Lakes, streams, marshes, and great rivers supplied protein to the people. Every season throughout the year allowed for some form of harvest from the water. Even if a people lived far from the coast, intricate trail networks allowed trade in seafood and other items to reach the inland people of the continent. To this day, these trails are referred to as Grease Trails in regards to the oil from the ooligan fish that was traded inland. For thousands of years this was the way, and even now many First Nations away from the coasts rely upon the bounty from the waters and rivers to sustain them as it has always been.
Inuit fishermanIn the far north and the east coast, the people were very dependent upon what the Creator gave to them to sustain them while living in such a harsh environment. Some may have looked at the winter as a time to stay warm in their dwelling depending upon what they had harvested in warmer seasons. Not to the ones of the north, for the cold meant ice upon the seas, making it easier to harvest the bounty from below.

We as indigenous people lived in a world of bounty for thousands of years enjoying all that the Creator gave us. Having leisure time attributed to great harvests, allowing us to build our unique cultures, so that Canada could be known as a land with such cultural diversity from sea to sea to sea by its’ aboriginal people.

Iron anchorThen the first iron anchor would hit the mud at the bottom of some forgotten bay at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and the bounty as we had known began to change forever on a daily basis. Land and sea it did not matter, for the new ones we were to share our world with, looked at the bounty in a whole different way than what we were accustomed to. Harvest seemed not for need, but for want of revenue.

Fish on deckWe too changed, for we were adapting to our environment as we had always done. Now it was a new age that we welcomed, where we harvested from the sea and fresh water on a whole different level. We used our skills to hunt fur seals from schooners in the north, supplied furs for the traders, and became commercial fisherman. If we were not harvesting, many of our people would work in the production lines processing the bounty of the waters that was harvested. Our ability to adapt, allowed many family’s to prosper with the new careers they entered with their age old skills of harvest.


heritage row

Even I would put myself through boys private school for my grade 8 and 9 years by commercial salmon fishing during the summer months to help pay for my tuition. Many of my cousins would do the same, and some of them graduated from Shawinigan Lake Boys Private School, but would still fish. During the 1900s many of the aboriginal people throughout Canada would become major stakeholders in the commercial fisheries of our traditional territories. We were now using our age old harvest knowledge to benefit us as commercial fisherman, so that we could support our families and live like any other Canadian.

the following generation

Fish netsNow that it’s 2010, a new era is upon all aboriginal fishers of Canada. We now see the years of over fishing, poor enhancement programs of the marine/water resources, contamination from industry and urban sprawl, effecting our fisheries at a negative level. Many fisheries are being effected by depressed stocks and no fishery restrictions. So much so, that on the coast of British Columbia some years one cannot make enough money to support a family in an isolated coastal community from commercial fishing anymore. Stories stating the same, come from the other shores surrounding Canada, as well as throughout the nation.

Seine boatIn the last ten years on the coast of British Columbia numerous aboriginal individuals, Bands (Tribes) have chosen to diversify into the building aquaculture industries. This is the growing of Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, oysters, scallops, black cod, clams, cockles, and even Atlantic salmon on the Pacific Coast. This is not necessarily for their own consumption, but for the socio-economic well being of their communities and families. If it were not for the aquaculture industry of British Columbia, many aboriginal families that have had boats to use for fishing would have lost them to the Banks years ago, due to a decade of poor salmon and herring fisheries, coupled with depressed prices.

Food fishing for crabThis may seem trivial for people to have access to boats, but to many First Nations of Canada losing them would be equivalent to what happened when the Plains People lost the great herds of buffalo that once covered the continent to be eradicated for revenue generation, and by ignorance. Boats are to many aboriginal groups of Canada what the horse has and is for many others. Here on the coast of British Columbia having access to a boat is like having access to schools, food stores, and cathedrals.

new generation

Tom in the holdAt present, aboriginal fishers of our country do not have a Branding program for the seafood and other fish products that we harvest in the wild fisheries, or grow in the aquaculture industry. If you want to assist us with our way of life, it never hurts to ask if this is a product that supports aboriginal people of Canada. Hopefully a day shall come where products are branded that we have helped to catch or grow, but until then, this page should help let one understand what products and companies we aboriginals are involved with?

Like father - like sonThe organizations that support the numerous fisheries we work with are also bannered on this page to assist you with gaining insight into our way of life. Aboriginal Adventures Canada is focused to showing aboriginal operations and/or service suppliers that are involved with the tourism industry of Canada to the world. This can be directly or indirectly. A.A.C. also allows all non-native operators and/or service/product suppliers to the tourism industry that support First Nations endeavors. This is not a political organization, it is merely the smoke signal for the world to see and to show that we aboriginals are active in many facets of the Canadian tourism industry. Even if we fish, we supply product to people enjoying all that Canada has to offer.

Salmon with flairTo the ones that are interested in purchasing our fish and seafood products, hopefully this page shall assist you in identifying where you can have access to the products we enjoy so much harvesting or producing. By using what we produce, maybe you can add a little flare and aboriginal culture to your products, that I know will be served to visitors to Canada or people wanting to experience another part of a grand country that we share. To my fellow fishers, if you have any information, pictures or would like to join this website, I look forward to hearing from you all. Be safe out on the waters, and keep up the good work.