Food, Social and Ceremonial Fishing

The Gitanyow Traditional Territory lies in the heart of wild salmon country, with salmon having been a staple of their diet for thousands of years.  Today, Gitanyow people still rely heavily on salmon, and during summertime each year, the Gitanyow Village smokehouses are fired up, and people are very busy processing fish.  The Gitanyow Fisheries Authority (GFA) administers and implements the Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) Fishery each season, under the specifications as outlined in Schedules A and B-1, and the Appendix to B-1 of the Comprehensive Fisheries Agreement between the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Under this Agreement the Gitanyow are permitted to fish all salmon species, however sockeye, chinook and coho are the primary species fished.  Fishing can occur at certain areas throughout the Gitanyow Territory, with the Meziadin River providing the bulk of the FSC fish for the Gitanyow.  For conservation reasons, the Gitanyow have voluntarily stopped fishing Kitwanga sockeye. 

GFA is responsible for:

  • Negotiating annually the communal FSC license with DFO.
  • Creating a fishing plan in conjunction with DFO.
  • Following and implementing an enforcement protocol and catch monitoring.
  • Issuing Designation Cards and Transport Permits to Gitanyow members.