October 27-31, 2022

Participants in the symposiumParticipants in the symposium
International Indigenous Salmon Seas Symposium 1 1200x600Some of the press conference participants from the Russian Far East, Alaska, and the Salish Sea

The indigenous participants at the Symposium were brought together, in a time of crisis, by the force of ancient and enduring kinship relations with Nature and, through Her, with each other. They gathered to share knowledge, ceremony, and strategies in support of salmon-dependent lifeways across three imperiled salmon sea bioregions: Lummi and Yakama tribal members from the Salish Sea, representatives from the Organized Village of Kake and the United Tribes of Bristol Bay in the Gulf of Alaska, and indigenous peoples from the Udege and the Itelmen Peoples of the Russian Far East. The five-day gathering at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle included indigenous leaders, fishers, scholars, ecologists, artists, and traditional knowledge- keepers, as well as a small number of observers.

A Symposium dialogue across the Salmon SeasA Symposium dialogue across the Salmon Seas

The overall event consisted of four parts, starting with a day-long gathering devoted entirely to introductions through ceremony. This was followed by three days when the participants met in large and small groups to take up issues related to the salmon crisis. The issues summarized in this report include Spiritual Sovereignty as a Conservation Strategy, Salmon and Indigenous Lifeways, Challenges in the Current Situation, A Way Forward Through the Crisis and Working Together.

Day 2 Udege
Tat with Photo Okhotsk

A public event was held on the fourth night with presentations from each of the pan-Pacific communities. The organizers believed it important to share with the public the unique salmon lifeways of the participating communities, the nature and extent of the threats to these lifeway, and inspire and inform hope and unity for the salmon and for all our sacred relationalities with Mother Earth. The final part of the overall event was a press conference on the last day. Held in front of the Grizzly Bear habitat, the presenters spoke from the heart to the heart of the matter: the urgency of now all across the Salmon Seas.

Traditional Dance
Traditional Dance

International Indigenous Salmon Seas Symposium documentclick to view