The idea for the Wild Salmon Caravan was ‘spawned’ at the Wild Salmon Convergence in 2014, a
think tank that brought together Indigenous fisher/folk, researchers, lawyers, and activists to discuss
issues, situations and strategies concerning the record low numbers of wild salmon returning to the
Wild salmon are our most important Indigenous food and cultural and ecological keystone species in
the forests, fields and waterways where Indigenous peoples persist in some of the most sustainable
hunting, fishing, and gathering strategies of humanity.
Inspired by the long legacy of political activism upheld by Indigenous peoples throughout colonization,
the Wild Salmon Caravan is a community arts-based engagement in wild salmon issues. The intention
of the WSC is to nurture the creative energy that wild salmon have inspired through the ages, and
affirm inter-tribal relationships that are the foundation of Indigenous trade and fisheries knowledge
systems. The collaboration and creative energy will serve to educate, inform, and transform the
darkness surrounding the industrial storm that is endangering wild salmon.
In a similar spirit as the world-renowned Mardi Gras festival, we invite the Rainbow Nation (people of
all colours) to join us in lively and colourful expressions of our love for wild salmon. We invite
Indigenous Peoples to wear cultural regalia at ceremonies, feasts, and walks for wild salmon, and hope
to see costumes, banner, placards, clothing and imagery inspired by diverse cultures and artists in the
events community soon to a community near you.
Stone Soup Festival: Brittania Community Centre (Vancouver), May 11th Farm 2 School Spring Celebration: Xpey School (Vancouver), May 30th ‘Q’emcín 2 Rivers Remix: Nlaka’pamux Territory (Lytton), July 6th & 7th Sustenance Festival: Roundhouse Community Centre (Vancouver), September 15th – 28th Koksilah Music Festival: Providence Farm (Duncan), September 6th – 8th Kamloops Art Gallery Exhibit and Let’s Talk about Wild Salmon Forum (Kamloops), dates TBA Arts Builds and Wild Salmon Caravan Garden –Strathcona Fieldhouse (Vancouver), dates TBA
“You know when we’re tasting that we are awakening something inside of us, right?
I like to remind people that wherever you go travelling, you eat the local foods there. There’s something about that experience that makes it really rich. So why not bring that here to our own locality and honour this food? Honour these traditions, this wisdom that’s been imparted, grown on this land forever.
We’re going through this time of ‘let’s get truthful and honest and let’s have a conversation and share what has happened on this land.’ All across Turtle Island. I think that’s where our Reconciliation comes to: the food. Really honouring what has been here long before we as people were here.”
it is art, it is caring for and protecting Wild Salmon and waters in keeping in living in harmony with Nature, it is the Rainbow Tribe working together with FN, it is renewing our kinship ties all along the way, it is creating awareness amongst the youth in schools, it is problem-solving, it is Spiritual, it brings the generations together, it brings everyone who works with Wild salmon together, it is ancestral and contemporary at the same time, it raises the vibrations for the protection of Wild salmon and waters through drumming and signing, it brings us all together in the telling of the stories of our water people, it brings communities together from the Salish Sea to the Spawning grounds of the Sockeye Salmon. It is a Movement, it comes from the heart, it is a celebration, it is feasts, it is sharing, it is Family. IT IS SACRED!
The Wild Salmon Caravan concluded Saturday, September 29, 2018, with a colourful and festive parade through downtown Chase followed by speakers and a feast at Chase Beach. The final day of the eight-day caravan opened with a sacred salmon ceremony at Adams Lake. Photos by Murray Bush.
On September 29, 2018, the Wild Salmon Caravan held a ceremony at the Southern end of Adams Lake calling for a commitment to protect wild salmon. The event took place by the Adams River Bridge that was burnt in 1995 in protest.
On September 27, 2018, local school children join the Wild Salmon Caravan parade through the streets of Merritt. The Caravan spent two days in Nlaka’pamux hosted by the Lower Nicola Indian Band, honouring wild salmon and discussing how to protect them. Photos: Murray Bush