Photo by Linda HeronPhoto Credit

Draft American Eel Recovery Strategy – Skip Ross to Bree Walpole – 10 February 2011

From: Skip Ross []
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:28 PM

To: ‘’

Subject: Draft American Eel Recovery Strategy

Kwey kwey Ms.Walpole

I am a 78 year old Elder from Pikwakanagan First Nation. I am old enough to remember eels in the Petawawa River and Lake Temagami. My Chief Kirby Whiteduck has written a letter about American Eel that needs to be part of The Eel Recovery Strategy. The eels must return to the Petawawa River as soon as possible since they are the basis for teaching so many things to our young people who have been robbed of the source of their instruction since we Elders can no longer show them the eels in our homeland. The Ontario Government policy about dam development under the Green Energy and Economy Act interferes with the Ontario Government policy to protect the fish in our rivers. The “cash for support” to First Nations who support dam development causes a split in our community among those who want the money and those who want to preserve the eels. It is wrong for the Ontario Government to introduce policies that cause such a split in our communities and tempts some First Nations people to sacrifice the eels by allowing dam development.

All dams on the Ottawa River must be redesigned to ensure safe upstream and downstream passage by American Eel. If dams are built on the Petawawa River, and I truly hope they won’t be, they must be designed So that safe upstream and downstream passage for American Eel and lake Sturgeon are conditions of approval. The Petawawa River is a watershed which contains an important sacred site that is many centuries old. The Ontario Ministry of Culture knows about it. It is called Kitchi Mikinac Assin. The Petawawa River must be kept free flowing to honor the spirit of that sacred site. All must request aid from First Nations Women who are keepers of the water. Some are the ones who walked around the Lake called Kitchi Goomee. They are always there to protect the waters without which we would not survive.

Earlier I sent my ideas about Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act to an Environmental Registry posting about guidelines for that Act. Please incorporate all of the ideas in that letter into the American Eel Recovery Strategy. That letter went to Amanda Warren. Phone (705)755 1214.

Thank you for letting me use my name to share my thoughts and requests with you.


Elder Skip Ross.