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Yukon First Nations, advocates push for chinook salmon protection at parliamentary committee – CBC

by ahnationtalk on February 22, 202445 Views

Feb 22, 2024

Whitehorse dam, infighting among governments and mining impacts among talking points at committee

Warning of looming extinction, delegates at a recent parliamentary committee told lawmakers challenges faced by Yukon River chinook salmon are manifold and in need of swift action.

They said teeming hatchery pinks are outcompeting chinook for food in the ocean, mining and hydroelectric dams are killing the fish and destroying their habitat, all while the territorial and the federal governments pass the buck to each other.

Nicole Tom, the chief of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation, presented during the Feb.15 meeting, during which she said without stronger efforts, the extinction of the entire species is all but guaranteed.

“Our Elders, who are used to this, they’re used to the vitamin D and all of these wonderful omegas that come from it — they’re feeling it in their bones,” Tom said. “They just want to have the salmon so bad.”

The number of chinook salmon swimming back into Canadian waters has been declining for decades, with the past two years in particular yielding some of the worst tallies recorded on the Yukon River.

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