Page 12 - Chehalis Tribal Newsletter - June 2016
© copyright 2016 US POSTAGE PAID
is a publication of the Confederated PERMIT No. 2
Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation.

* Or current resident


Salmon feast a time of renewal

Ceremony celebrates
sacred fish, traditions

The Salmon Ceremony is The Chehalis tribal community gathers to honor the salmon people, share stories and enjoy
very special day for the Chehalis food during the traditional Salmon Ceremony.
Tribe. The annual event was held
May 6 at the fish pit behind the update on the Satsop and Wynochee Tribal Elder Mel Youckton (left), with Chairman Don
Department of Natural Resources watershed. Another tribe requested Secena, gives attendees an update on the Satsop and
building. Honoring the salmon to fish on the tributaries. The Wynochee watershed meeting.
people has been recognized for Chehalis Tribe and Quinault Nation
many generations by the tribe. combined to speak against this idea.
The celebration is a thank you
to ancestors so that they are not The issue isn’t about sharing;
forgotten. traditionally, the number of fish
can’t support another tribe. Plus
The Fisheries Committee selected the Chehalis Tribe can only fish
fishers to harvest fish for this in our traditional areas within
ceremony. One of the challenges the boundaries of the Chehalis
is that it’s never certain when the Reservation. It is not final, but after
salmon are going to show up. A the review period, we hope to not
target goal was set, and there were have upstream effects of overfishing.
enough fish caught early in the
week to announce a date for the Glenda Delamater explained
ceremony. It was short notice, and about the ceremony at the river. It
oral traditional methods were used is done in the morning with tribal
to spread the word. people and witnesses the sharing of
the salmon people with the Chehalis
Early in the morning, people met people. Glenda also discussed the
at the Chehalis Tribal Fish House traditional ways of gathering camas
and traveled to a selected place at the and eels.
river. The first fish was kept separate
for the ceremony. For some, this is The spring Chinook was cooked in
the first time they have participated the traditional Chehalis style. Along
in the ceremony. It takes your breath with the salmon were oysters, eels
away to be a part of or just to witness and camas that were provided to the
the beautiful and honorable way the community. People volunteered to
Chehalis Tribe honors our salmon cook in the kitchen, providing a feast
people. to be remembered for years to come.
Thank you to those who dedicated
The celebration their time.

A simple way to pay respect to We look forward to next year!
the salmon people was the making
of gifts for those who came to the
celebration. The Heritage and
Culture Program provided awesome
presents to be handed out at the
feast. Witnesses received pillows,
handmade leather pouches, key
chains, carved paddle necklaces and
other necklaces.

The ceremony opened with a
prayer given by Roberta Secena. In
our Chehalis tradition, elders were
invited to be served first. The lines
were long, but many agreed it was
worth the wait.

Tribal Elder Mel Youckton was
invited to speak about the current
meeting with the state. He gave an
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