May 19-22nd, 2007

Two Towns, One Choice: How salmon farming resuscitated a coastal nation and why another said no.
[Editor's note: Last week, a committee of the B.C. legislature called on the province to end open net fish farming on B.C.'s coast in the next five years. For the past eight months, Vancouver journalist Helen Polychronakos has been exploring the world of fish farms and B.C.'s aboriginal communities. This week, in a special Tyee series, we present her reporting on the environmental, economic and cultural impacts of aquaculture and aboriginals on B.C.'s coast.]

The cannery in Lax Kw'alaams, a Tsimshian fishing community 30 kilometres north of Prince Rupert, is deserted. When it was first built in the 1970s, 130 people worked two 12-hour shifts. Every day, around the clock, they stripped fish and filled cans. There were always more fish to strip and more cans to fill. But in the mid '80s the fish stopped coming. By 1996 the band was almost bankrupt. Since then, the cannery has been open on and off, and unemployment had reached as high as 95 per cent.

Agencies want Irving to invest in social programs
Some social agencies in Saint John want Irving Oil to pay the extra social costs associated with a second oil refinery. A representative from Irving Oil explained to the packed annual general meeting of the Human Development Council how finding housing for 5,000 construction workers is going to be one of the key social issues connected to the proposed second refinery. Some people at the Thursday meeting raised other issues that could come out of the new facility.

Living green before their time
Spring was sprung on Morninglory Farm from a hilltop under the toothless grin of a crescent moon and the twinkling of the evening sky's first, brash stars. Residents and friends of the farm gathered around a fire overlooking the commune below. After cleansing themselves with smoke from a big, glowing smudge of dried herbs (all of them perfectly legal), people declared their intentions and hopes for the coming season, and then tossed a cedar frond on the coals. They sang, drew inspiration from Celtic, native and goddess sources, and danced in a circle around the fire to a glorious rhythmic din made by a selection of maracas, seed pods, music sticks and handmade drums.