By Barb Brouwer
One of Mother Nature’s most spectacular events will unfold on the Adams River this fall.
Sockeye salmon in the millions are expected to return to the river to spawn, having travelled thousands of miles in their four-year cycle of life that takes them to the Pacific Ocean and back.
This is the largest sockeye run in North America and, as always in dominant-run years, several partners are working together to host a three-week Salute to the Sockeye celebration from Sept. 30 to Oct. 23.
“This year’s salute will celebrate not only the amazing journey of the salmon, but also the important role salmon play in Secwépemc culture,” said Adams River Salmon Society president Ken Benoit, noting this year’s opening fittingly occurs on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
The Little Shuswap Lake Band will host an opening prayer and welcoming ceremony and cultural events at Tsútswecw Provincial Park.
The grounds of the park will be filled with artisan market and souvenir stalls, great food concessions, including bannock, burgers, salmon and more.
The Artisan Market will have more eclectic artwork than ever, including Indigenous sculptures, carvings, pine needle, birch bark and cedar baskets, birch bark biting, jewelry, dream catchers, hand tied fishing flies, purses, beaded and woollen items, drums and rattles.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development will host an Educational Interpretive Program free of charge to B.C. students in Grades 2 through 5 during the Salute to the Sockeye.
Schools are required to pre-register their class and may do so by contacting DFO directly by emailing DFO.PACSalute.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
BC Parks has co-hosted the celebration since the park’s creation and the province, in collaboration with Little Shuswap Lake Band is working to maintain the area’s natural and cultural integrity for future generations.
During the Salute to the Sockeye, interpretive facilities and services help visitors appreciate and understand the salmon life cycle and ecology and relationship with the area’s ecosystem.
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