The Wild Salmon Caravan travelled from the headwaters to the big ocean May 10 -14, following the spirit of wild salmon. Ceremonies to honour the sacred waters and wild salmon and community dinners where held at Prince George, Clearwater, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Bonaparte First Nation, Lillooet, Lytton, Yale, Chwawathil at Hope, Skwah in Chilliwack, Kwantlen at Fort Langley and finishing with a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery following by a march to Imperial Mines office, DFO office and ending at Sunset Beach with offerings to the ocean. Elected leaders, elders, women, men and children, hereditary chiefs and concerned citizens from all backgrounds shared their creativity through music, poetry, sacred songs,dances, artwork and story telling. The people spoke passionately about the need to save wild salmon from industrial harm, particularly from irresponsible mining by Imperial Mines, Kinder Morgan’s dangerous pipeline plans and industrial fish farms on the migration routes of wild salmon. The people were consistent in their messages all along the river: Fish farms need to be removed from the ocean, Kinder Morgan poses a risk too high for a major spill and must be stopped, and Imperial Mines is unable to clean up from the disastrous Mount Polley tailings pond breach, and so Imperial Mines must be shut down, at least until regulations and safeguards are in place – and enforced – to prevent another disaster that could bring wild salmon closer to extinction. The caravan galvanized the commitment and determination to protect wild salmon and its habitat from irresponsible government sanctioned industrial activity that threatens to bring wild salmon to extinction.
Eddie Gardner and Dawn Morrison were the key coordinators who collaborated with a working group that included Natalie Clark, Janice Billy of Neskonlith, Doug Gook from Quesnel, Jay Peachy from Vancouver, Bonny Glambeck from Tofino, April Thomas from Williams Lake, Sabina Dennis from Prince George. Our gratitude goes to all those who made contributions to the Wild Salmon GoFundMe account, as well as to the generous contribution of $2,500 from the Mennonite Central Committee’s Jubilee Fund. Our hands go up in respect and gratitude to the following communities who hosted community dinners/lunches/breakfasts for the Wild Salmon Caravan: Williams Lake, Sekw’el’wes (Cayoose First Nation), Lytton First Nation, Chawathil First Nation, Skwah First Nation and Kwantlen First Nation!
We will follow-up with sending thank you cards to all those who donated to the success of the Wild Salmon Caravan! Here are some pictures taken on the Wild Salmon Caravan trail!