Sockeye salmon swim up Yard Creek near Malakwa on Sunday, Sept. 2. (Jim Elliot/Shuswap Market News)

Sockeye salmon swim up Yard Creek near Malakwa on Sunday, Sept. 2. (Jim Elliot/Shuswap Market News)

Shuswap salmon subject of symposium

Event to combine Indigenous and scientific perspectives on the fish

  • Sep. 14, 2018 6:00 a.m.

The dominant Adams River salmon run is the setting for the first symposium of Indigenous and scientific communities to discuss the past, present and future of wild Pacific salmon from an B.C. Interior perspective, on Sunday, Sept. 30, and Monday, Oct. 1.

Tickets are still available for conservationists, Indigenous community members, scientists, academics or members of the general public, who are interested in attending the two-day event at Quaaout Lodge on Little Shuswap Lake, near Tsútswecw Provincial Park (being renamed from Roderick Haig-Brown).

The symposium is being organized by The Adams River Salmon Society and Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band and includes a special one-time, single screen public presentation of edited sequences from Nettie Wild’s Uninterrupted.

While people and communities have benefited and relied on salmon historically, there are questions arising about its sustainability. The Shuswap Salmon Symposium is designed to bring together people who have an interest in these questions to share knowledge about how we benefit from the salmon, changes we may be witnessing in our communities, and whether we are acting effectively to manage and co-exist with wild Pacific salmon.

Indigenous knowledge will be shared alongside scientific knowledge about how the salmon are being managed today.

Related: VIDEO: Close to 6 million late-run sockeye heading for Shuswap

The Shuswap Salmon Symposium is designed to respect various perspectives toward creating a dialogue moving forward. Symposium delegates will be exposed to a range and diversity of knowledge to inform how to sustain the salmon population, for its own survival and for the ongoing benefit to our people and communities.

Sunday’s events include participation in the renaming ceremony of Tsútswecw Provincial Park, opening ceremony for the Salute to the Sockeye festival, trail-based activities in the spawning area of the Adams River and an Indigenous feast, featuring the Indigenous relationship with salmon.

Monday’s schedule includes a panel discussion on salmon conservation and management with the academic director for UBC’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems Dr. Hannah Wittman moderating. Panelists include Dr. John Reynolds, the Tom Buell BC leadership chair in Salmon Conservation and Management at SFU; Sunny Lebourdais, director of governance for the Secwepemc Nation Building Initiative with the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council; Sarah Murdoch, Pacific Region director for policy and economic analysis with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and David Nordquist, lands and title, Adams Lake Indian Band.

Other symposium speakers include Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation and co-author of the Wild Salmon Policy; Dawn Morrison, Neskonlith community member and food sovereignty specialist; Herb Hammond, forest ecologist, Silva Forest Foundation; Dr. Courtney Mason, Canada Research Chair in Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities at Thompson Rivers University; and, Tina Donald, Simpcw community member and vice chair of the Fraser Salmon Management Council. Indigenous elders and community members will share traditional knowledge and perspective related to salmon throughout the symposium.

If people would like to support the event but are unable to attend, there is also opportunity to sponsor a Secwepemc elder or youth. Contact event organizers for more information at shuswapsalmonsymposium@gmail.com.

Registration and the full agenda and speaker profiles are available at www.salmonsymposium.com. Seating is limited, so sign up soon.


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For more information, contact Carmen Massey, Adams River Salmon Society, at 250-804-3466 or by email to shuswapsalmonsymposium@gmail.com.