Over 150 people gathered in Witset at a feast overlooking the roaring Widzin Kwah Canyon to ceremoniously celebrate the return of the salmon last Friday.
On the menu was, of course, salmon, but also a cultural feast for the eyes as the ‘Ewk Hiyah Hozdli Dance Group performed for locals and visitors.
Laksilyu hereditary Chief Wah tah K’eght (Henry Alfred) was unable to speak at the ceremony as he recovers from illness in Prince George, so Neekupdeh (Darren George) spoke in his stead. He spoke of the need to conserve both the traditions and resources of the Wet’suwet’en.
“Salmon stock is getting less and less every year,” said Neekupdeh.
“How we take care of not only our land but our resources [is important].”
He listed salmon, moose and berries as examples of those resources that need care.
The feast included the return of salmon bones to the river, an ancient tradition that includes asking for the salmon to return.
“Unless we do it, we’ll forget it,” Neekupdeh told the crowd.