Return of the Salmon - Welcoming Celebrations
Moricetown Canyon Opening
The Return of the Salmon Celebration took place today in Moricetown. This is an event that has been taking place for decades, and the 14th annual that has been put on by the Office of the Wet'suwet'en.
This morning it looked like rain but the sun came out just in time for the Return of the Salmon Celebrations at the Moricetown canyon, and according to the locals the event keeps draws more people in every year, and this year also sends the message to protect the canyon from the Northern Gateway Project. Natural Resources Manager at the Office of the Wet'suwet'en, David De Wit, “This year is a great turn out, we also joined another event here, where we had a lot of the community members come out and our guest stand on the bridge to take a picture and that is just to stand in solidarity to protect our water and our salmon against projects such as the Enbridge oil pipelines.”
Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief, John Risdale says since fish can’t speak English we must speak for them. “In our culture our stories tell us we used to marry the animals that's why we understand the animals, so the fish is a part of us, it is a member of our family, we can't allow anything to happen to our family our moose, our deer our fish our land our water the very air we breathe, is a part of us and we are a part of it if they can't speak for themselves then it's actually everybody duty to speak on their behalf, because anything that happens to the environment happens to everybody.”
Unfortunately there was a loss in the community, and to respect the families there was no traditional dancing or singing. De With explains, “We just refrain from the drumming, the singing, and dancing so today there will be some tours down at the canyon for remodel of the smoke house and a tour of an archaeological expedition taking place by the interpretive centre, the museum to show people, the work that has been done here and what we've been doing to preserve and to protect our cultural heritage.”
The Bear Spirit Healing journey made its way to Moricetown a couple days earlier than first planned for today's celebrations. “I like salmon... It's a great honour being here to watch everybody gather together and speak of the importance of eating salmon and it was a first time witnessing it today.”