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Paddle for Wild Salmon Update (October 23) – Pitt Meadows to Musqueam via New Westminster

Saturday, October 23rd 2010 9:24:11am

Media Advisory

Fraser River Discovery Centre and Musqueam Indian Band hosts the paddlers

Salmon Are Sacred’s ‘Paddle for Wild Salmon’ launches from Katzie First Nation (Pitt Meadows) at 8am this morning destined for Musqueam this afternoon (4pm arrival).  A Musqueam boat will welcome the paddlers into Musqueam territory at the Port Mann bridge.  

At 10am the paddlers will land at the Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster for a press conference hosted by Fin Donnelly MP, John Cummins MP, Alexandra Morton and Chief Marilyn Baptiste.  The paddlers, including Spencer Chandra Herbert MLA and Brian Gunn and Evan Loveless representing the Wilderness Tourism Association, will leave New Westminster at 12 Noon.  

With more paddlers joining the Wild Salmon People four more Voyageur canoes have been kindly donated by Ridge Wilderness Adventures bringing the flotilla up to 10 canoes.  Fraser River Raft Expeditions is providing a safety raft and will be joined by a 70ft yacht from Bluewater Adventures, kayakers and dragon boat racers.

Two dug out canoes are making the journey across the Salish Sea from Sidney on Vancouver Island to Musqueam – one skippered by Darren Blaney of Homalco First Nation and the second by a team from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations in Clayoquot Sound.  

The seven-day journey which started by rafting to Hope through Hell’s Gate arrives into Vanier Park at 9am in Vancouver on Monday (25th) with a march across Burrard Bridge to the opening of the Cohen Commission to support Justice Cohen in his investigation of the truth about our wild salmon.  

Tomorrow (24th), the Paddle for Wild Salmon will leave Musqueam at 11am with a flotilla gathering in English Bay from 1pm and beach arrival and welcome ceremony at 2pm.  If the weather is hostile the paddlers will walk from Musqueam down one of the Lost Creeks of Vancouver to False Creek and paddle to Jericho Beach.  

A Sacred Salmon scroll made from elk hide by Darren Charlie of Chehalis First Nation is also making the journey to Vancouver.  The scroll has toured the Fraser River watershed and now has over 200 signatures from wild salmon champions including George Abbott, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.   The scroll will be presented to Justice Cohen on Monday (25th).  

Squamish Nation has donated ‘Calling Wild Salmon People’ billboard advertisements across the City of Vancouver including signs on Burrard Bridge.  The Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, is joining the Paddle for Wild Salmon on Monday (25th).  

In May, the ‘Get Out Migration’ attracted over five thousand people to a rally at the BC Parliament buildings.   On Monday (25th) the flotilla will paddle from Jericho Beach leaving at 8.30am into Vanier Park (from 9am) with boats gathering under Burrard Bridge and a welcome ceremony by Squamish Nation.  The final leg of the journey will start at 10am with a march from Vanier Park to the opening of the Cohen Commision (701 W. Georgia) and a ‘Justice for Wild Salmon’ rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery (12 Noon start).  The Wild Salmon People will call on Justice Cohen to demand full disease disclosure from the Norwegian salmon feedlots on the migration path of the Fraser sockeye.  

For more details about the itinerary and meeting points en-route, visit: http://www.salmonaresacred.org/itinerary-paddle

To arrange interviews with Alexandra Morton and the paddlers, please contact:

Don Staniford on 250-230-1172 (cell)
Alexandra Morton on 250-974-7086 (cell)