Tag Archives: salmon

Sitting on Water

Earlier this year, I blogged about the new Salmon Stewardship Program at the non-profit organization where I work as communications director. This fall, we wrapped up an exciting pilot year for the program, which included the construction and operation of a traditional-style fish weir that we used for sockeye enumeration.

This project has the potential to enable powerful, local stewardship of an important resource to the Heiltsuk Nation, and the data generated by our fieldwork will support resource management and decision-making for our Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department. It is also an inspiring example of scientific research and monitoring that is guided by cultural values and indigenous knowledge, developed by Heiltsuk managers and carried out by Heiltsuk field technicians.


Since we’re so excited by the story of this project, we wanted to find a way to share it with you! So we partnered with filmmaker Ilja Herb to develop a short film called Sitting on Water: A Season on the Koeye River. The film is close to being completed, and we’re looking for your help to generate interest and the last bit of funding we need to finish the editing. We’re offering some neat incentives for donors, and you can find out more by visiting our crowdfunding page on IndieGoGo.

I’d like to thank Ilja Herb, our filmmaker, and Andrew Naysmith, our editor; Will Atlas, our Salmon Program Coordinator, and all our colleagues at Qqs (Eyes) Projects Society; Grant Callegari for his invaluable work in designing and building the weir, and for helping with donor incentives; Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department; Hakai Beach Institute; and all of our philanthropic partners who support the operation of the Salmon Stewardship Program.

Consilience in Action: Salmon Stewardship in the Koeye River Watershed

At my non-profit job, we’ve been launching into a new initiative based at our field site in the Koeye River Watershed. Recognizing the interconnectedness of the relationships between our people, our territory, and the key species we rely on, we’ve launched a strong Salmon Stewardship Program under our Coastwatch Heiltsuk Monitoring Initiative to ensure we’re managing this important resource with the best tools and information at our disposal.


An exciting element of this Salmon Stewardship work is our fish weir project. Supervised by Salmon Program Coordinator Will Atlas with assistance from some amazing folks at Hakai Beach Institute, this involves the construction of a cedar- and alder-wood weir across the whole width of the Koeye River above tidewater, which allows our team of Heiltsuk technicians to count every individual sockeye heading upstream. As far as our ongoing theme of “consilience” goes, this represents an incredible overlap between IK (indigenous knowledge) and western science. We’re combining the soundest elements of both in order to achieve better stewardship outcomes in our territory, and it’s exciting to be a part of it!

I’d like to invite you to check out an amazing little video from our friend and colleague Ilja Herb, who joined us during the construction stages of the weir project and is currently on his way back up the coast to film its operation. This video will give you a beautiful, visual introduction to the project, and there’s more to come as the summer progresses!

If you feel compelled to make a donation, your support has a huge impact at this scale. You can donate online, or contact my office for more information.