Spirits in the Wilderness raw: #17 Salmon Original, Roy interview pt. 3

Raw footage for a documentary commissioned for the opening of the Shedd Aquarium's Oceanarium. Producer, director, and editor Judy Hoffman documents an aboriginal fisherman, Roy Cranmer, fighting to preserve the 'Namgis band's historic fishing grounds and land of origin while protecting the vibrant ecosystems and salmon populations that have sustained the Pacific Northwest Coast region for centuries. Also known by the anglicized name Nimpkish, the 'Namgis are part of the Kwakwaka'wakw (initially named the Kwakiut'l by Franz Boas) First Nation and have their homeland in what is now British Columbia, on the northern end of Vancouver Island. Hoffman has maintained a long relationship with the ‘Namgis band, having been adopted into the Cranmer family at the Cranmer potlatch in November 2017.

00:21Copy video clip URL Judy Hoffman continues her interview with Roy Cranmer, captain of the Kitgora fishing boat, discussing the physical and economic difficulties of being a fisherman. Cranmer says fishing “is a gamble, particularly now.”

04:26Copy video clip URL Cranmer describes how salmon prices are negotiated and the groups who represent the fisherman in those negotiations. Each commercial fishing boat fishes under contract for a certain company who will buy the fish they catch.

06:48Copy video clip URL Explanation of the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia, a membership organization representing First Nations fishermen, tendermen, and shoreworkers, and its importance in securing opportunities for native populations. Cranmer also acknowledges the interconnection between indigenous fishing rights and land claims, yet declines to say more due to the complexity and depth of the topic.

10:03Copy video clip URL The topic of “food fishing.” Cranmer recalls from personal memory the history of the fishing season in the area. For the ‘Namgis people, sockeye salmon remain vital to their food supply and income. Cranmer discusses the conflict between native fisherman and the sport fisherman who fish in the same waters.

13:44Copy video clip URL When Hoffman asks about the state of salmon stock in the area, Cranmer discloses information gained when protestors occupied a fisheries office.

15:32Copy video clip URL Cranmer expresses frustration over lack of environmental protocols and regulation of the logging industry, which threatens to destroy ecosystems along the Nimpkish river. He describes the slow awakening of government agencies and regulatory bodies to environmental concerns, along with the continuing obstruction of regulating bodies to implement change or listen to the concerns of First Nations fishermen.

19:41Copy video clip URL Cranmer offers introductory information on himself and his background. He talks a little about his current crew.

22:40Copy video clip URL The unique position of Native populations in relation to protecting the Nimkish river, lake, land, and its inhabitants. Cranmer describes the precarious and intimate connection between the ‘Namgis people to the salmon and the land. He concludes, “If the fish are gone, we’re gone.”

26:43Copy video clip URL More discussion of the destruction of fish populations and ecosystems in British Columbia and around the Nimpkish river and lake. Cranmer lists the many factors and actors who have contributed to the decline of certain fish populations.

29:09Copy video clip URL Cranmer  lists the names of his crew and the hopes for his son.

 

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