WHAT: From May 17 – 18, 2022, as part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) ongoing effort to bring salmon back to the Upper Columbia, sockeye fry releases and cpu taʔstm iʔ xaʔxʔitət uɬ ck ́aʕxtm iʔ ntytyix Salmon Ceremonies will take place throughout the Upper Columbia.
WHEN & WHERE:
May 17 – Castlegar at 10:00 am at Millennium Park
May 17 – Slocan at 2:00 pm at Slocan Beach Boat Launch
May 18 – Revelstoke at 11:00 am Centennial Park Boat Launch
WHY: The ONA continues to be dedicated and vigilant to ensure the successful reintroduction of sockeye salmon to the Upper Columbia watershed. These ceremonies and releases are part of the Syilx Nations inherent responsibilities to protect and restore provides an opportunity for the Syilx people to gather and affirm our deep connections with ntyitix (Chief Salmon) and our responsibility to be stewards of our lands and waters. These ceremonies — with our language, captikwł (oral history), songs and prayers — are also an integral part of revitalizing our culture. For thousands of years these ceremonies and customs have been brought forward for our children, and we are committed to ensuring that this work continues.
The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) was formed in 1981 as the inaugural First Nations government in the Okanagan, which represents the 8 member communities of the Okanagan Nation. In the 1960’s the Columbia River Treaty led to the creation of industrial reservoirs and the building hydro-electric developments on the Columbia River, making it impossible for fish passage, which deeply impacts Syilx cultural and food systems. Years of hard work, direct action, and political advocacy, particularly in the last decade, have seen the ONA working with provincial, federal, other First Nations, and US Tribes and agencies to rebuild this sockeye run within all parts of Syilx territory.
For further information please contact:
Chief Clarence Louie, ONA Tribal Chair
Tara Montgomery, ONA Communications Lead