Wild Salmon Caravan 2017: Honouring Our Matriarchs Video

 

The Working Group of Indigenous Food Sovereignty would like to publicly acknowledge and express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the communities of support that gave, so freely, countless hours of time, energy and a wealth of ideas for planning of programs and logistical coordination for the Wild Salmon Caravan 2017.

We are especially grateful for the ancestral guidance, teachings, and the generous hospitality that was extended as we traveled through 5 Coast and Interior Salish communities in the unceded ancestral territories from the Salish Seas Corridor on our way to the Adams River/Little Shuswap Lake.

We would like to make a special mention to our funders from the First Nations Health Authority, Heritage Canada 150+, Vancouver Parks Board, Vancity, BC Teachers Federation, Brewster Kneen and all the other individuals who donated to our crowdfunding campaign.

The journey was a beautiful expression of tribal values where peoples of all cultures came together to show the world how important and inspiring wild salmon are to our land and food system.

Thank you to the many volunteers who showed up so humbly in anonymity to be of service in this rapidly expanding social movement.

wildsalmoncaravan.wordpress.com

facebook.com/wildsalmoncaravan

wsc.mediateam@gmail.com

For more information please contact Dawn Morrison @ dmo6842@gmail.com


Remembering WildSalmon Caravan 2017 By Jaya

Last fall I had an experience, which will be remembered as one of the most impactful weeks of my life. I have struggled up to this point to find a satisfactory summery of the Wild Salmon Caravan (WSC) 2017, because it is an event that is a week long and vibrantly full of diverse experiences. A group of people setting out on an annual journey that does so much.

Our purpose is to raise awareness around the importance of Wild Salmon, but the means are beautifully vast. Cars were filled with freshly made friends and many a sign or costume. Parades through many a downtown spread music, art and calls to action. Speeches were given with emotion and intention. Feasts were served where all were welcomed to the table regardless of monetary or social standing, nourishing our bodies with Wild Salmon provided by the community. Tents were pitched side-by-side through the grace of welcoming hosts. And everything was interwoven with the strength and beauty of ceremony and song. The sense of oneness, unity between peoples, was palpable, despite the diversity of background and national origin. We were there to support the Salmon on their voyage, and to let them know that there are many of us still with them. Many of us who see their struggle and are uniting to defend them in a society where they are under attack.

While the political struggle (fighting against policies such as fish farming and anti-spawning nets in the political arena) is important, I have chosen the interpersonal and spiritual planes as my battlefield, which is why I was so drawn to the WSC. Changing policy may help, but the damage done to the environment and culture of so-called BC cannot be healed without opening hearts and minds, without true dialogue between nations. This is why the WSC is so powerful. We are not simply marching and speaking out, we are forming a community of our own and carrying a message with us across the land. Each night, we stayed in a different host community, learning their practices and protocols, their traditional relationship to Salmon, practicing their language and songs. Such a cultural exchange and unification under cause may even be unique to the WSC.

When recollecting my experience on the caravan, I am almost overwhelmed with the amount of stories I collected and friends I made. For each of the seven days, I can pull out numerous meaningful lessons, great laughs and memorable events. Each of the moments becomes a story and each of those stories carries the spirit of the Salmon and each time they’re shared, so is the goal of the WSC. So, in honor of the Salmon, I would like to share some of those stories here.

The opening day in Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh, Skwxwừ7mesh Ủxwumixw – Squamish (Vancouver) was full of energy and excitement for the journey we were about to embark on with the Salmon. Seeing the Matriarchs from many different First Nations coming together and being honored by the community as they honored the Salmon was an inspiration. It represented a sign of unity between peoples and a commitment to healing wounds of colonialism and capitalism together. When the parade reached the banks of Trout Lake, led by the Matriarch’s, the group fell into the silence of ceremony, making offerings to our Mother, you could feel that the Salmon were with us. That evening, as my friend and I were walking home from the forest, we saw a Sockeye salmon in the pink clouds of the sunset, precise and vivid down to the striations of the fins and pupil in the eye. It was a truly mystical message to be carried with us as we began our own journey up river.

When we arrived in Stờ:lõ -Skwah (Chilliwack), I immediately noticed the freshness of air and the beauty of the mountains. After being welcomed by the Stờ:lõ, we walked to Skwah, where those of us who would be traveling the whole length of the caravan were invited to ride in their sacred canoe, along with the Matriarchs, down the river, listening to the sacred songs and beat of the heartbeat on the drums coming from the banks, we were welcomed at the shore by Chief Robert Gladstone of the Skwah. There he sang a song that went deep into my soul. When we arrived back at Stờ:lõ, I was in a state of spiritual bliss, and as I listened to speeches from elders, one phrase stuck with me above the others: “The Salmon will hear our songs.” Then, as the Salish anthem was ringing through the hall, I had a vision of being in the river with Salmon swimming beside me, and I felt them say, “We hear you. We are with you.”

Nlaka’pamux (Coquihalla Mountains, Merritt) is the community we travelled to during WSC that stays closest to my heart. We were welcomed with such great respect, and intent on building goodwill and friendship. The ceremonies were shared amongst all, followed by feasting and a bonfire that we sat beside; sharing songs from across the world late into the night. My favorite moments from that night were sitting with Jack, a member of the Nlaka’pamux Lower Nicola Indian Band (LNIB), as he told me about his day in the mountains herding cattle to be brought in for winter, along with stories about his youth, kids and pets. Having a chance to spend hours with members of the Nlaka’pamux community by the fire was a chance to learn about how they live their lives and not just hear but feel the importance of the Salmon to their culture and the ecosystem (two concepts that are inseparable in the First Nations context).

When the caravan set off the next day, we were happy to find that members of the Nlaka’pamux Lower Nicola Band were joining us and ended up staying with us through to the end in Chase. I spent much time with one of the members, Robert Lafferty in the coming days. He told me many stories from his well-traveled life. He shared with me how he harvests traditional foods, how he traveled in a Unity Ride through the mountains on horseback and how he came to know the story of the Sasquatch from Bella Coola, to name a few. We have been able to maintain this friendship, and I’m now lucky enough to spend time with him and his stories whenever he visits Vancouver.

In Secwepemc te Adams Lake, the media team was blessed to be hosted by Elder Jennifer Dick and her sons Stuart and Corey in their home for two nights. In that time, I bonded with Stuart and his dogs, Snoopy and BB King. In the evening, we stood at the back of the house and he taught me about the local “four-leggeds” like Moose and Cougars, as well as the geography, and weather in the area.

Over the next two mornings sunrise ceremonies were held in honor of the Salmon, and members of the caravan were spiritually, emotionally and physically invigorated by meditation and prayer. At the site of the last ceremony in Secwepemc te Adams Lake, there were dead salmon floating at the banks of the river. It seemed to be a disheartening image, but as the ceremony progressed, live salmon began swimming by; A message from them that, “We hear you. We are with you.”

When we began to prepare for the last parade through Chase on the final day, the energy was high, despite the long journey we already had behind us. The energy was made especially strong by the amount of locals joining in with floats and flags, including many local school classes, and Stuart and Snoopy taking up the rear on their bicycle. Like many others, the Secwepemc te Adams Lake, Neskonlith, Little Shuswap is a community deeply split by politics of ongoing legacy of colonialism and the effects that legacy has on Salmon, so seeing the amount of support during the parade was truly special, and a fitting end to the caravan.

The stories I told above are a few pieces of countless memories from the journey. Other smaller moments include: holding a wild salmon for the first time and learning that they’re a lot bigger than I thought, sharing smiles and warm words with Elaine, chatting about life with Mike, receiving guidance and reassurance from Christine on my spiritual path, watching the totally fierce and hilarious salmon catwalk/fashion show in Kamloops, driving with Brian while he tried to teach me how to navigate without GPS, running up and down the parade lines with the media team (always on the hunt for another shot of the wondrous festivities)… When I think back, the memories simply flow, one after the other without end, so bountiful was the experience. I am proud and honored to carry the stories with me and share them for the rest of my life.

Before I end, I wanted to take a little space to officially thank all of our hosts. Your willingness to take us in, and not only give us ground to sleep on and foot to eat, but to also share your culture and ceremony is something I will always remember and strive to mirror. And to my new friends, thank you for being a part of the WSC and my life.

With Love,

Jaya


EXPRESSIONS OF GRATITUDE

Wild Salmon Caravan Logo.

PUBLIC ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We would like to publicly acknowledge and express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the communities of support that gave, so freely, countless hours of time, energy and a wealth of ideas for planning of programs and logistical coordination for the Wild Salmon Caravan 2017.

We are especially grateful for the ancestral guidance, teachings, and the generous hospitality that was extended as we traveled through 5 Coast and Interior Salish communities in the unceded ancestral territories from the Salish Seas Corridor on our way to the Adams River/Little Shuswap Lake.

We would like to make a special mention to our funders from the First Nations Health Authority, Heritage Canada 150+, Vancouver Parks Board, Vancity, BC Teachers Federation, Brewster Kneen and all the other individuals who donated to our crowdfunding campaign.

The journey was a beautiful expression of tribal values where peoples of all cultures came together to show the world how important and inspiring wild salmon are to our land and food system. We apologize in advance for any names we may have missed in our public acknowledgement, and would like to say a special thank you to the many volunteers who showed up so humbly in anonymity to be of service in this rapidly expanding social movement.

The huge response and success of the WSC could not have happened without the financial, technical, human, and in kind support provided by the many individuals and organizations listed below.


MEDIA TEAM

Wilson Mendes  | Murray Bush | Sharon Kravitz | Lucie Ashley (Jaya)

Simon Wolf|Luke Barnesmoore | Ronnie Dean Harris | Julian Napoleon


PLANNING TEAMS


Vancouver

Brenda Racanelli, Vancouver Parks Board

Rebecca Til, Vancouver Parks Board

Carmen Rosen, Still Moon Arts Society

Bee Miller, Still Moon Arts Society

Ian Marcuse, Grandview Woodland Food Connection

Shannon Hecker, The Right to Food Zine

Melpetkwe Mattew

Gloria Pavez

Ronnie Dean Harris

Ingrid Figueroa Manelik

Daniel Mendoza

Bo Del Valle Garcia, Cedar Cottage Community Garden

Yolanda Weeks

Nadine Pluzak, Vancouver Storytelling Society

Victoria Morgan

Lori Snyder

Jay Peachy

Cease Wyss 


Chilliwack

Eddie Gardner

Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance

Tracy Lyster

David Peter

Valerie O’Connell

Dan Guanzon

Robert Gladstone

Don Mair

Ethel Gardner

Garry Hagguist

Dan Coultier

Bonny Krulicki


Merritt

Lani McKenzie (Xwustse)

Joanne Lafferty, Councilor, Lower Nicola Indian Band

Billie Pierre


Kamloops

Bonnie Klohn, Kamloops Food Policy Council

Carole Hebden, Chair, Kamloops Food Policy Council

Jeff McNeil Seymour, T’Kemlups te Secwepemc, Instructor,Thompson Rivers University, Decolonizing Social Work Class

Sandra Frangiadakis, Gleaning Abundance Program

Londea Riffel, Secwepemc Health Caucus

Adrienne Decandole

Andrew Morrison

Cathy Wang

David Archie, Secwepemc Health Caucus

Shauna Pezzot


Chase

Greg Witzky, Adams Lake Indian Fisheries Manager

Michelle Tsutsumi, Golden Ears Farm

David Lepsoe, Councilor

Patricia White, Matriarch

David Smith

Robyn Cyr

Ronn Boeur

Ali Maki


HOST COMMUNITIES AND AGENCIES 


 Musqueam, Tsleil watuuth, and Squamish territories (Vancouver) – Grandview Neighbourhood/Trout Lake

Stõ:ló (Chilliwack) – Skwah First Nation

Nlaka’pamux (Merritt) – Lower Nicola Indian Band (Shulus)

City of Vancouver

Vancouver Parks Board

Skwah First Nation

City of Chilliwack

Nicola Tribal Association

Lower Nicola Indian Band

City of Merritt

Secwepemc Health Caucus

Shuswap Food Action Coop

T’Kemlups Indian Band

City of Kamloops – Arts and Culture

Adams Lake Indian Band Fisheries Management Department

Village of Chase


Secwepemc (Kamloops)

 Food Policy Council

Social Work 4540 Class – Aboriginal Decolonizing Social Work Practice

Skeetchsn Indian Band

Interior Community Services

GK Sound

Interior Friendship Centre

Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association

Kamloops Immigrant Services

Rarebird’s Collective

Riverfresh Salmon, Kamloops

Safeway, Kamloops

Silver Springs Organic, Savona

South Kamloops Senior Secondary Social Justice Class

SSOL Gardens, Kamloops

TRU Indigenous Law Student Association

TRU Social Work Class

White Buffalo Society


Secwepemc (Chase)

Adams Lake Indian Band Fisheries Department

Adams River Salmon Society

Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Golden Ears Farm, Chase

Pete Saul and Lana Louie Catering, Chase

Safety Mart Grocery Store, Chase

Young Agrarians

Shuswap Food Action Co-op, Golden Ears Farm

Safety Mart Grocery Store

Village of Chase


FUNDERS AND DONORS


First Nations Health Authority

Heritage Canada 150+

Vancity

Brewster Kneen

Yoo Mi-Lee

Yolanda Weeks

Neil Laffra

Sharnelle Jenkins Thompson

Cheryl Klabona

Ana Simeon

Ian Marcuse

Carol Morrison


SPONSORS | VOLUNTEERS – FOOD, FISH & FARMERS 


Vancouver Food Policy Council

Kamloops Food Policy Council

Dave Speight, Executive Chef and Culinary Director

Dave Gunawan, Farmers Apprentice Restaurant

Nikoo Boroumand

Georgia Stanley, BC Association of Farmers Market

Will Jung, Bokoeco Partners

Brianne Miller, Nada Grocery

Bo Del Valle Garcia, Executive Director, Cedar Cottage Food Network

Zsuzsi Fodor, Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Marc Schutzbank, Director, Fresh Roots

Dale Robinson – Haisla/Heiltsuk Nation, Wild salmon

Discover Organics

Choices

West Point Naturals

Mike Sexsmith

Kamloops Gleaning Abundance Project

Copley Orchard

Cedar Cottage Food Security Network (preserves)

Urban Greens

Fresh Roots

Trout Lake Community Centre

Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Elysian

Adrienne Candole

Andrew Morrison

Anita Strong, Smorgasbord Deli

Anne Marie and Rob Hunter

Barb Lundstrom

Caitlinn Quist

Cara Gates

Cherie Churchmen

Dannette Hare

Dave Whiting

David Archie

Deandra Day

Dede Bone, Interior Community Health Services

Dominique Hazel

Don Ignace

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Pattie

Emma’s Farm

Emily Hope

Emily Lomax

Garet Biglow

Gleaning Abundance Project

Greg Unger

Painted Pony Restaurant

Cafe Motivo

Gary’s Deli

Go forth Composting

Jaimee Garbut

Jared Doherty

Kamloops Farmers Market

Kayla Coutlee

Lisa Forth

Logan Dafoe

Lucy Heslip

Luydmilla Storsely

Margaret (last name unknown)

Marjorie Wall

Mel Baptiste

Mendel Rubinson

Miles Buis

Nicole Tourangeau

Olive Hews

Olive Klassen

Rachel Tonn

Robin Hines

Trudi Nielsen


Arts and Culture


Alejandro Ramirez and Sons, Traditional Maya Marimbe

Ayotzi 68

Cease Wyss, Traditional Wool Capes for Matriarchs, Coast Salish welcoming song

Just Performers – Sabina Dennis, Meeka Morgan, Geo Ignace and co.

Justin Bige – spoken word

Helen Spaxman, Costumes for The Carnival Band

Kristina Kris, The Wild Things Masks

Mitcholos Touchie – Spoken word

Nadine Pluzak

Pacific Association of First Nations Women – 13 Cedar Capes for Matriarchs

Priscilla Monet

Ronnie Dean Harris – Spoken Word

Charles Billy (drumming and singing lead)

Eddie Gardner (drumming and singing lead)

Still Moon Arts Society

Solidarity Notes

The Carnival Band

Valeen Jules – Spoken Word

Donna Clark and Ian Marcuse, Bike Float

Sharon Kallis, Salmon Leather

Diego Pacheco, Facepainting

Bonny Krulicki

Lani McKenzie (Xwustse)

Arbour Aboriginal Arts Collective

Big Little Science Centre

Chris Bose

City of Kamloops Arts and Culture

Kamloops Art Gallery

Kamloops Arts Council

Jared Doherty

Secwepemc Salmon Song – Shawn Billy and others

Tara Willard, Indigenous Education Worker, School District #83

TRU Visual Arts Department

Rebecca Kneen and Brain McIsaac

Rebecca Shephard

Michelle Tsutsumi

Kelsey Snelgrove, Bike Art

Tanya Lipscombe

Rebecca Kneen and Brian McIsaac

Safety Mart Float

Bernice Heather, Ribbon Skirts

St’at’imc Bear Dancers

Kennthen Thomas, Coyote Stories

Garry Gottfriendson, Secwepemc Poet

Chief Atahm School, Secwepemc drumming and singing


Matriarchs


Sharon Jinkerson Brass

Bernice Heather

Ethel Gardner

Yvette John

Faye Blaney

Glida Morgan

Sadie Kuehn

Elaine Bissonnette

Joanne Lafferty

Lani McKenzie (Xwustse)

Marian McKenzie

Diane Billy

Patricia White

Dawn Morrison

 


First Aid attendants

Lucie Ashley (Jaya)


Security

Brian Grandbois

Mike Bissonnette

Dale Robinson

Julian Napoleon

Charles Billy


Parade Marshalls

Chitha Manjoranum

Henry Lau

 


QUOTES


“I just want to thank you for all the organizing you did to make today’s event happen. It was the most beautiful and love filled community event I have ever experienced! I felt invigorated from it, and would love to help with organizing next year”. Nikoo Borourmand

**************

“I came on the caravan, stunned by the level of warmth and hospitality we received from Aboriginal communities. I hadn’t ever thought of myself as a settler or colonist, but it’s clear that is what I am. The Wild Salmon helped me realize more fully how my ancestors fell on the shores and have thrived at the expense of Indigenous peoples. The experience was both shocking and wonderful experience. I feel opened up and I want more”. Martha from Solidarity Notes Choir.

**************

Testimonial video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmqN2-PX3Go&t=2s

 


Our intention to grow the WSC as a social movement, in a similar spirit as Mardi Gras, makes it impossible to mention and acknowledge everybody who gave service in the months of planning leading up to the 6 day journey. I apologize in advance for any names we have missed, but please know that our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for all the gifts you brought in body, mind, and spirit, and the beautiful expressions of love and deep and meaningful truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and our lands, territories and water.

 

 


Wild Salmon Caravan 2017 Is DAYS away!

The #WildSalmonCaravan2017 kicks off in just over a week. Here’s some calls to action, resources and things to think about.

In just over a week we’ll be launching into a journey to Chase from Vancouver in the 2017 caravan. With colder weather approaching, CHANCES (fingers crossed for not) of rain in some locations, many aspects of travel and gathering coming up…so we should all be prepared with the proper information.

We’ve been working to populate this website with all information needed and is being populated as the days countdown. (which you can see on our side  bar widget…or down below on mobile devices)


All Media + Press Inquiries can be directed to either Dawn Morrison or Eddie Gardner via:
MEDIA + PRESS CONTACT PAGE


We have event pages for caravan parades on Facebook you can share RSVP to and share to your networks here:

Oct. 7 | Vancouver:

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/486518661717285

Oct. 8 | Chilliwack:

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/134790550594221

Oct. 10 | Merritt event page coming soon!

Oct. 11 | Kamloops:

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/480473735655271

Oct. 12 | Chase:

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/312905492510513

Please share to your communities and networks. Word of mouth is always the best way to get things out with personal outreach to each other and communications on why we’re supporting these events. We are the word. Follow our Facebook page here.


Travel Itinerary

The travel intinerary is ALMOST complete.

Stay tuned on our Travel Itinerary page for the final updates in the next days.

The final map and details will be mapped out on event pages and advisories.

Thanks for your patience!


Some Calls To Action!

  • Like, Follow + Share @WildSalmonCaravan on social media

  • Try our Wild Salmon Caravan Facebook Frame + Camera Effect here. Use it to change your profile picture or in the Facebook Camera to shoot watermarked video or photos with WSC branding.

  • Tag us! @WildSalmonCaravan and use the hashtag #WildSalmonCaravan2017. We’re excited to see your photos and videos. Let us know what Wild Salmon means to you!

  • Talk to your communities about #WildSalmonCaravan2017 and how you can get involved. Word of mouth is always the best way to mobilize.

 

More to come soon! We are looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Let us know what your salmon story is!
#WildSalmonCaravan2017
@WildSalmonCaravan

 


MEDIA ADVISORY | Protocols

As members of the WSC 2017 media team, we are responsible for witnessing and documenting the Wild Salmon Caravan events, activities and people with the intention to tell the story of the Wild Salmon Caravan. With this comes a great responsibility to honor and respect the people, places and activities we witness.

This toolkit is meant to outline a rough guideline to create media respectfully based on a reciprocal relationship with the Indigenous communities who are hosting us on the Wild Salmon Caravan.

To view and download the toolkit…head to our page:
WSC Media Protocols