Paddle for Wild Salmon Update (October 20) – “Hope to Skwah (Chilliwack)”
Wednesday, October 20th 2010 12:07:05pm
“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 8:30 a.m.-9 am. 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 (4p.m.) and host an evening event in Chilliwack (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.). Cheam Indian Band will host a lunch stop at Cheam Beach (12 Noon to 1 p.m.).
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 .
For more details about the itinerary and meeting points en-route, visit:
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)