On behalf of Se’Si’Le, the public is invited to stand with Indigenous leaders and Tribal communities across the Northwest in support of a Snake River journey and the Indigenous-led movement to restore salmon by removing the Snake River dams. This important journey comes at a critical time for the Snake River, endangered salmon and orcas, and the region's Tribal communities.
On Saturday, September 23, from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m., members of the public are invited to take part in the Olympia stop of the All Our Relations Snake River Campaign. The inaugural event will begin an 8-day journey across the Northwest.
The Washington stops include Olympia, Spokane, and Seattle. The Oregon stops include Portland and Celilo Falls. Idaho stops include Moscow and Nez Perce.
The events will feature an 8-foot steel sculpture, handcrafted for the journey by Lummi Nation members A. Cyaltsa Finkbonner and Master Carver Jewell James that represents a vision of ‘All Our Relations’ and that will be used to smudge the events.
The events will also include education around this crucial moment in time as well as offer hope and ceremony, blessing the journey, travelers, attendees, and art.
Earth Ministry/WAIPL is the local nonprofit point of contact and according to their website, participants will journey from the church to the capitol steps, remembering the salmon and all relations lost and separated by damming rivers.
The 2023 All Our Relations Journey, Snake River Campaign will travel through Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to inspire and build community, and to press the Biden Administration and our region's members of Congress to protect salmon from extinction and restore them to abundance.
Native peoples in the Northwest have depended on their relationship with salmon since time immemorial. To protect the salmon from extinction and uphold our nation's promises to Tribal communities, we must urgently replace the services of the four lower Snake River dams and restore a free-flowing river.
As Chairman Shannon Wheeler of the Nez Perce Tribe explains: “Time is running out to protect our sacred salmon. This is a crisis that threatens our way of life, and it is a violation of our treaty rights. The federal government is failing to uphold the promises made to our ancestors when we ceded our lands.”
According to the Sierra Club website, the Columbia and Snake Rivers were once the greatest salmon rivers in the world until four dams were built on the lower Snake River.
Wild salmon bring nutrients from the briny ocean back to the high mountain streams. They create an environment that helps steelhead, pacific lamprey, and other fish thrive. They are also a critical food source for endangered orcas. However, dams block salmon from returning to their birthplace to spawn, reproduce and thrive.
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