[Spirits in the Wilderness voiceover raw: #23]

This is an audio-only feature from Spirits in the Wilderness, 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.

00:47Copy video clip URL Animal sounds. Jim Morrissette introduces Roy Cranmer’s voiceover.

01:20Copy video clip URL Roy Cranmer, captain of the Kitgora, a seine fishing boat, talks about changes in fishing technology and the history of fishing in the Johnstone Stright north of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

03:55Copy video clip URL Judy Hoffman asks Cranmer to explain the Canadian government’s regulations on commercial fishing openings and the reduction in the length of their fishing season.

07:26Copy video clip URL Cranmer explains his fishing process when openings occur.

09:48Copy video clip URL Cranmer gives the Kwakʼwala name for the Nimpkish river: Gw’ani. He affirms the ‘Namgis people’s claim to the river and denounces the logging and deforestation happening along the Nimpkish river and Johnstone Straight.

13:50Copy video clip URL Hoffman asks Cranmer to explain a fishing “set,” or the process of fishing salmon with a seine net. Cranmer tells the catch results of a recent fishing opening and the compensation breakdown earned by the fishing crew for that opening.

18:08Copy video clip URL Due to the reductions in fishing openings, increased boating traffic for fishing, and the change in salmon populations, Cranmer attributes any economic gains to a matter of luck. Without a sockeye catch, the crew would be forced to catch and sell humpback or pink salmon, which sell for much less than sockeye.

19:11Copy video clip URL Hoffman asks Cranmer to fill in sound bits for the documentary’s final edit.

21:40Copy video clip URL Cranmer explains his crew’s classification as a strictly commercial fishing operation, absent of any legal rights granted by the Canadian government to indigenous fishers.

23:20Copy video clip URL Hoffman touches on Cranmer’s future hopes for his son, Edgar, and the regulations he would like to see changed by the Canadian government’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). He also talks about changing restrictions in net depth and length.

26:01Copy video clip URL Cranmer gives more context to the negative effects of sports fishing and the sports fishing lobby, as well as the inability of the government to regulate sports fishers.

29:26Copy video clip URL International competitors also claim stakes for fishing near the Johnstone Straight, which exerts other pressures and limit resources in local ecosystems and for other commercial fishers.

 

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