AGAINST THE CURRENT
Photography by: Michael O. Snyder
Writing by: Courtney Sexton
In partnership with: Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Patagonia
Published in: High Country News & SAGE Magazine
In the southwest corner of British Columbia a great river flows from a canyon in Hope. Hope marks the start of an historic aquatic corridor in the Lower Fraser River Valley. Here the river runs along rich floodplains, through metro Vancouver, and, ultimately, to freedom from the bounds of land at the Salish Sea. For centuries the region has sustained populations of people and wildlife alike, a fertile crescent of the West.
For more than 10,000 years Canada’s coastal First Nations have built lives and cultural identities dependent on the ecological gifts of the Fraser – the greatest of all, a beautiful ugly fish called the salmon. Members of the Stó:lō community (the “river people”) and other First Nations tie their past, present and future to the river and the sockeye, pink, chum, coho and Chinook species that rely on this stretch of the Lower Fraser to traverse from spawning ground to sea. But for community elders, the future of indigenous sovereignty often looks as threatened as the fish now are.
Against the Current tells the story of an unlikely coalition of people and organizations who have come together to save the last of the Fraser River Salmon.