In 2006 they established a formal watershed plan for quality waters – enhancing local ecosystem management, and rebounding fish abundance through conservation. The Tsilhqot’in People of Xeni and the community they represent have made it abundantly obvious that they are the stewards of the Xeni Gwet’in Caretaker area including the salmon that call the Chilko River watershed (including the Taseko River Watershed and part of the Fraser Basin Watershed) their home.
The connection to their land is firmly supported by the late Justice J. Vickers in his Supreme Court of British Columbia 2007 decision relating to the Roger William rights and title case: The Xeni Gwet’in are viewed amongst Tsilhqot’in people as the caretakers of the lands in and about Xeni…are charged with the sacred duty to protect the “nen” (land).
Salmon are the keystone species of the Taseko and Chilko River watersheds and their value to the broader human marketplace is indisputable. However, the extent to which the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and the flora and fauna of the watershed rely on this truly sustainable resource is immeserable.
The Xeni Gwet’in Commercial Fishery Enterprise development is based on the following Community objectives:
A fishery enterprise catch of 1000 per day (pending a quota)
Determine appropriate landing sites supplemented by guided cultural tours
Support Cultural Tourism potential through active participation in the fishery
Work with applicable agencies to implement the Ecosystem-based Conservation Plan including monitoring and enforcement.