WHEN: Wednesday, May 17th, 2017. 9:30am – 11:00am
WHERE: Penticton Channel, off Hwy 97 & Green Mountain Road, Penticton, BC. Please drive slowly. Parking will be available along the left side of the Dyke and behind the Save on Gas station. Due to higher than normal water levels we are asking people to be particularly cautious when near the Penticton Channel and Shingle Creek.
WHY: This release provides an opportunity for the Syilx people to affirm deep connections with the sockeye salmon and their return. ntyitix (Chief Salmon) is central to the Syilx Peoples creation stories and through our captikwł (oral history), passed down through generations, it is our responsibility to be stewards of our lands and waters. These ceremonies with our language, songs and prayers are an integral part of the work that we continue, to ensure our efforts to revitalize our culture. For thousands of years these ceremonies and customs have been brought forward for our children.
WHAT: Okanagan Nation members and over 430 students from local schools will take part in a ceremonial release of 10,000 Okanagan Sockeye fry so that kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ (cause to come back) will continue. These fry have been raised by as part of Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) Fish in Schools (FinS) Program, along with fry from the hatchery.
Howie Wright, ONA Fisheries Manager states that “The Okanagan Nation’s Sockeye Fry Release provides a wide range of learning and engagement opportunities. Through programs such as FinS youth take part in raising the fry and learning about the development of salmon from smolt to fry. Through participating at the Sockeye Fry Release they are able to connect to Syilx/Okanagan cultural practices, as well as learning more about the Okanagan Nation.”
WHO: ONA’s kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery is central to our conservation efforts. The 25,000 square foot hatchery has the capacity to rear 8 million eggs, and is currently equipped to handle all fish culture aspects required for 5 million eggs from brood stock management until fry release. As part of their conservation efforts the kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery will release 5 million fry over the course of May-June, 2017. For more information please visit: https://www.syilx.org/fisheries/hatchery/
Tara Montgomery, ONA Communications Lead