News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 4, 2015

Three projects in Whitehorse and Dawson City will support education and stewardship

VANCOUVER –   The Pacific Salmon Foundation today announced $31,000 for three Pacific salmon projects in the Yukon.  The Foundation awarded the grants through its Community Salmon Program, which supports habitat stewardship, salmon enhancement and education.

The ‘First Fish Culture Camp’ is a five-day camp that will provide an immersive educational   experience to First Nations students and will be delivered by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nations. Students will participate in traditional salmon fishing and processing, habitat stewardship, and biology and ecology-based activities. This project also received financial support from Casino Mining and Kaminak Gold Corporation.  Kaminak’s Coffee Gold Project is located in the traditional territory of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in

Two other projects in the Yukon also received funding:

  • Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee received funds to deliver the Stream of Dreams education program to Whitehorse Elementary School students. Students will learn about salmon and watershed stewardship, and create a fish mural to remind the public that all drains lead to salmon habitat;
  • Yukon College received funds to upgrade the McIntyre Creek hatchery facility which provides hands-on fisheries education to Yukon college students while enhancing Yukon River Chinook.

The Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports thousands of volunteers and First Nations who give countless hours each year to monitor watersheds, develop and implement habitat rehabilitation projects, and educate communities about the conservation and protection of salmon. The program requires volunteer grantees to find matching funds for projects. On average, volunteers raise an additional six dollars for every dollar they receive through additional fundraising for donations of in-kind and money at the community level. This year, the initial funding round awarded more than $750,000 to 97 projects in 54 communities, but there are a number of projects awaiting further review. The total value of currently funded projects will be almost $13 million including additional leverage provided by volunteers.

The majority of funds for the Community Salmon Program were generated through sales of the federal Salmon Conservation Stamp.  The Salmon Conservation Stamp is a decal that must be purchased annually by anglers if they wish to keep Pacific salmon caught in saltwater off of Canada’s West Coast. Currently all proceeds from the $6 dollar stamp are returned to British Columbia through the Foundation, generating about $1 million for community grants annually.

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QUOTES:

 

Dr. Brian Riddell, President and CEO, Pacific Salmon Foundation:
“The Pacific Salmon Foundation recognizes the Yukon as important salmon habitat and is looking to expand its outreach in the Yukon, so we were delighted to be able to support the ‘First Fish Culture Camp.’ Projects like these help young people learn more about the importance of Pacific salmon and develop in them an ethic of stewardship for fish and the natural environment. We’re grateful for the partnered funding of Kaminak Gold Corporation and Casino Mining. When the two companies were approached, both immediately recognized the educational and cultural value of the project and agreed to split the shortfall to help move this project forward.”

 

Deb Nagano, Heritage Director, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in:
“Passing on salmon fishing and stewardship skills to our community’s youth is vital given the drastic decline of Yukon River king salmon stocks. We’re thankful for the support of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Casino Mining and Kaminak for this important cultural project.”

Paul West-Sells, President, Casino Mining Corp.
“We welcome the opportunity to support the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in  ‘First Fish Culture Camp.’  We understand the importance of salmon to the Yukon First Nations and are pleased to support this education initiative.”

Eira Thomas, President and CEO, Kaminak Gold Corporation
“We are pleased to support the ‘First Fish Culture Camp’ along with Casino Mining Corporation and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. We have learned a lot from Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in since we began exploring in 2009 and we know how important culture camps, such as this one, are to the community.”

Ryan Leef,  MP - Yukon
``The First Fish Camp is an exceptional opportunity to foster a solid appreciation for the social, ceremonial, and traditional value of salmon and Fish Camps.  These are times to connect the past with the present, build on language and heritage through shared stories and experience. Engaging young and old alike is critical to ensure that the preservation and protection of time honoured ways of life are not only practiced but celebrated. I wish the community good health and wonderful experiences during the First Fish Camp.”

 

Contact:               Michael Meneer, Pacific Salmon Foundation, 1-778-990-0464, mmeneer@psf.
                             Wayne Potoroka, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in , 867-993-7100 ext.108, Wayne.Potoroka@trondek.ca
                             
Amanda Leslie, Casino Mining Corporation, 1-867.334.4770
                             
Allison Rippen - Armstrong, Kaminak Gold Corporation, 1-780.995.2499, Allison@kaminak.com
                             Office of MP Ryan Leef (Ottawa), 1-613-995-9368, Ryan.Leef@parl.gc.ca  

About the Pacific Salmon Foundation:

The Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-governmental, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific Salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. The Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their ecosystems and works to bring salmon back stream by stream through the strategic use of resources and local communities

Media Contacts

For media inquiries contact:
Michael Meneer
VP, Development, Marketing & Communications
mmeneer@psf.ca
604-664-7664 ext. 127

Stephen Bruyneel
Communications Officer
sbruyneel@psf.ca
604-842-1971