Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

August 08, 2011 19:05 ET

Statement by Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans: Gathering Strength

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 8, 2011) - The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:

The Government of Canada is pleased to be participating in Gathering Strength, and to be joining First Nations youth and elders on this week-long voyage of discovery.

As the 12 canoes and almost 250 people participating in Gathering Strength begin their paddle from Kincolith to Hartley Bay in British Columbia's north on August 6, local representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and members of the RCMP will join First Nations youth in a communication- and relationship-building experience that will help participants gain a better appreciation of local First Nation cultures and traditions.

This is the third year Fisheries and Oceans Canada has participated in the initiative, with fishery officers paddling in two canoes.

Our government is proud to engage with our partners in activities such as this, which foster a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with Aboriginal groups in British Columbia and across Canada, as we work to better understand and protect our fisheries resources and ecosystems.

Each year, this journey has grown in size and profile. In 2011, participants will retrace the route followed 11 years ago on the inaugural paddle of the initiative, visiting many First Nations communities along the coast of British Columbia.

Canoes play a vital role in First Nation communities, and the journey itself will honour the ancestors of First Nations and their traditional customs. I wish all of this year's paddlers participating in Gathering Strength, a successful and enjoyable journey.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Leri Davies
    Media Relations

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Erin Filliter
    Director of Communications