Kate Durgan of the Young Adult Catholics blog attended the Squaxin Island Tribe’s First Salmon Ceremony last Friday:
As we stood on the low-tide beach, I felt all the markings of ritual that I know well from my Catholic life. Elders sat in the front rows of folding chairs and young people stood behind them, holding their kids or chatting quietly with one another. The officiant gathered everyone together by thanking us for coming and explaining what would happen today. He explained the significance of the actions and welcomed Elders in the crowd to do the same. We watched as a tribal member filleted the salmon—and chuckled when he exclaimed “it’s a whale” when he saw how big the King Salmon was. Kids fidgeted and ran around, occasionally crying out. And then we broke fry bread & salmon together, and wished each other peace and wellness.
Photos of the event have also been posted on the NWIFC’s flickr feed.