Paddle for Wild Salmon Update (October 20) – “Hope to Skwah (Chilliwack)”
“Hope for Wild Salmon” – The Journey to Vancouver begins with Sacred Salmon ceremony
Salmon Are Sacred’s ‘Paddle for Wild Salmon’ launches this morning in Hope. The five-day paddle arrives into Vanier Park in Vancouver on Monday (25th) with a march across Burrard Bridge to the opening of the Cohen Commission to support Justice Cohen in his investigation of the truth about our wild salmon
First Nations leaders will be out in force supporting Alexandra Morton and the Wild Salmon People as they make their historic journey to Vancouver. Chief Marilyn Baptiste of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government will be paddling from Hope along with Chief Rhoda Peters of Chawathil First Nation and 50 paddlers in Voyageur canoes donated by Ridge Wilderness Adventures. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs is supporting the paddle.
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Assembly of First Nations National Chief, and Grand Chief Clarence Pennier, Sto:Lo Tribal Council, will be in Hope to wish the paddlers a safe journey. A Sacred Salmon ceremony will be performed by First Nations leaders on the banks of the Fraser River before the launch at 8.30am-9am. Alexandra Morton will be paddling with a paddle donated by the Chief Louie Paddle Company and Cheslatta Carrier Nation.
A Sacred Salmon scroll made from elk hide by Darren Charlie of Chehalis First Nation will also be making the journey to Vancouver. The scroll has toured the Fraser River watershed and now has over 200 signatures from wild salmon champions including George Abbott, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. The scroll will be presented to Justice Cohen on Monday (25th).
Squamish Nation has donated ‘Calling Wild Salmon People’ billboard advertisements across the City of Vancouver including signs on Burrard Bridge. The Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, is joining the Paddle for Wild Salmon along with politicians including Fin Donnelly MP, John Cummins MP, Vicki Huntington MLA, Spencer Chandra Herbert MLA, Michael Sather MLA, Bob Simpson MLA, Michelle Mungall MLA and Lana Popham MLA. Joyce Murray MP will be at Jericho Beach on Sunday (24th) to speak at an event welcoming the paddlers into the City of Vancouver.
Yesterday (19th), Alexandra Morton was escorted through Hell’s Gate by First Nations leaders from Lillooet and Lytton, Salmon Talks Lillooet and Fraser River Raft Expeditions. Chawathil First Nation hosted an evening welcome with sacred salmon songs, drumming, dancing and speeches from Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Kwicksutaineuk-Ah-Kwaw-Ah-Mish First Nation, Alexandra Morton and Elly Edwards.
Tonight, the Skwah First Nation will welcome the paddlers (4pm) and host an evening event in Chilliwack (5pm to 8pm). Cheam Indian Band will host a lunch stop at Cheam Beach (12 Noon to 1pm).
Tomorrow (21st), the Paddle for Wild Salmon leaves Chilliwack for Matsqui (Abbotsford) for an evening event hosted by Matsqui First Nation and Chief Alice Mackay. Katzie First Nation (22nd) and Musqueam Indian Band (23rd) will host the paddlers before the arrival into Jericho Beach on Sunday (24th) and Vanier Park on Monday (25th).
Paddlers will be joined by kayakers, yachts, whale watching boats and other canoes including two dug outs making the journey across the Salish Sea from Victoria. In May, the ‘Get Out Migration’ attracted over five thousand people to a rally at the BC Parliament buildings. On Monday (25th) there will be a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery (12 Noon start) with the people of British Columbia calling for Justice Cohen to demand full disease disclosure from the Norwegian salmon feedlots on the migration path of the Fraser sockeye .
To arrange interviews with Alexandra Morton and the paddlers, please contact:
Don Staniford on 250-230-1172 (cell)
Alexandra Morton on 250-974-7086 (cell)
Salmon Are Sacred, October 18, 2010 From Hell to Hope
Alexandra Morton rafts through Hell’s Gate
Hope, B.C. – The Wild Salmon People are gathering momentum with a raft through Hell’s Gate tomorrow (19th) and the launch of the ‘Paddle for Wild Salmon’ from Hope on Wednesday (20th). Salmon Are Sacred’s tour of the Fraser watershed reaches Lillooet tonight (18th) with an evening event hosted by Salmon Talks at the Cayoose Creek Band Office.
Dr. Alexandra Morton, who recently launched the Wild Salmon People, said:
“The 2009 Fraser sockeye run was a glimpse into a lifeless hell, but 2010 gives hope for the future. This year’s legendary run has taught us that wild salmon can still power our economy and be the life-force of the culture and ecology of this province. The time is now to demonstrate to the Norwegian-owned corporations and our Federal and Provincial Government that the people of B.C. want Pacific wild salmon, not Atlantic farmed salmon. The Wild Salmon People must all pull together powerfully and peacefully in Vancouver on 25thOctober. Show your support for Justice Cohen and the sockeye inquiry by marching with us from Vanier Park to the Cohen Commission next week to demand the complete disease records from every salmon feedlot site on the Fraser sockeye migration route.”
The raft trip through Hell’s Gate with Fraser River Raft Expeditions will start at Boston Bar at 11am tomorrow (19thOctober) and arrive into Hope at 5pm for an evening event hosted by the Chawathil First Nation at the Telte-Yet Campground. The Paddle for Wild Salmon will launch from Hope at 9am on Wednesday (20thOctober) with a lunch stop at Cheam Beach hosted by Cheam Indian Band and an evening event in Chilliwack hosted by Skwah First Nation.
Kerry Coast of Salmon Talks Lillooet is joining the paddle with her 12 year old daughter, who for the first time made her own t’swan (dry salmon) from start to finish this summer.
“People have always lived here because of the salmon, and that’s why I live here now. We are proud to journey together with Alexandra Morton from St’át’imc through Nlaka’pamux and into Sto:lo territory to join the mid-Fraser to the Paddle for Wild Salmon. I and my daughter are joining the Paddle so there are always salmon, and always wild salmon people.”
The Paddle for Wild Salmon is supported by First Nations leaders including Grand Chief Stewart Phillip (Union of BC Indian Chiefs), Chief Bob Chamberlin (Kwicksutaineuk-Ah-Kwaw-Ah-Mish First Nation), Grand Chief Saul Terry (Intertribal Treaty Organization), Grand Chief Clarence Pennier (Sto:Lo Tribal Council), Chief Marilyn Baptiste (Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government), Chief Bev Sellars (Xat’sull First Nation), Chief Judy Wilson (Neskonlith Indian Band), Chief Wayne Christian (Splats’in First Nation), Chief Andy Phillips (Scowlitz First Nation), Chief Alice Mackay (Matsqui First Nation), Chief Rhoda Peters (Chawathil First Nation), Chief Rhonda Larrabee (Qayqayt First Nation), Chief Ernest Campbell (Musqueam Indian Band), Chief Joe Alphonse (Tl’etinqox-t’in Government Office), Chief Bernie Elkins (?Esdilagh First Nation), Chief Percy Guichon (Tsi Del Del First Nation), Chief Francis Laceese (Toosey Indian Band), Chief Ivor Myers (Yunesit’in Government), Chief Willie Charlie (Chehalis First Nation) and Chief Robert Joseph (Gwa Wa Enuk First Nation). Squamish Nation has donated a billboard advertising the ‘Wild Salmon People’ across the City of Vancouver including signs on Burrard Bridge.
Politicians joining the paddle include Fin DonnellyMP, Vicki Huntington MLA, Spencer Chandra Herbert MLA, John Cummins MP, Michelle Mungall MLA, Peter Julian MP, Lana Popham MLA, Michael Sather MLA, Bob Simpson MLA and the Mayor of Vancouver Gregor Robertson. Other paddlers include Juno award-winning musician Bill Bourne; Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright; artist Carl Chaplin; former Team Canada canoe racer Ray Natraoro of Squamish Nation as well as members of the Fraser Riverkeepers, the Wild Salmon Circle, Wilderness Committee and Georgia Strait Alliance.
The Paddle for Wild Salmon will be spearheaded by Voyageur canoes donated by Ridge Wilderness Adventures and safety boats skippered by Fraser River Raft Expeditions. Joining the flotilla will be dragon boats, seine boats, a 45ft dug out canoe skippered by the Nahanee brothers of Squamish Nation, a 70ft yacht from Bluewater Adventures, the whale-watching boat ‘Naiad’ from Port McNeill and a team of kayakers from the Pipedreams Project who left Kitimat on 1st September. Darren Blaney of the Homalco First Nation and paddlers from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations will lead canoes across the Salish Sea to gather in Vancouver.
Salmon Are Sacred’s tour of the Fraser watershed started in Mission on 1st October and has visited Adams River, Fraser Lake, Stuart Lake, Takla Lake, Prince George, Quesnel, Horsefly, Lumby, Enderby, Shuswap River and Shuswap Lake. The Paddle for Wild Salmon visits Cheam Beach, Skwah (Chilliwack), Matsqui (Abbotsford), Katzie (Pitt Meadows), New Westminster and Musqueam before arriving into Jericho Beach on Sunday (24th) and then the final leg of the journey into Vanier Park on 25th October. The Wild Salmon People will then march across Burrard Bridge to the opening of the Cohen Commission and a ‘Justice for Wild Salmon’ rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery.