Thinking Like a Scientist: A Salmon Inquiry
Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Indigenous Food Conference at Cape Mudge
Before European contact, salmon was an important trade item, and featured prominently in a wide variety of legends, art and spiritual ceremonies.
In some stories, salmon are considered returning relatives, further personalizing and deepening the connection to the Aboriginal people who depended on salmon for survival and sustenance. It was also a versatile food, which could be eaten fresh from a catch, or dried in a smoke house for the winter months… a tradition still practised today. Perhaps that is the ultimate lesson.
Elder Philips says the salmon reminds us of the struggles each of us has to go through, but it also continues to teach us about the past, the importance of honouring tradition and our own place in the cycle of life.
TVO Raven's Quest - Chyyah
Chyyah is an 8-year-old girl from the NuChaNulth Nation, in Port Alberni, British Columbia. Chyyah loves arts and crafts; she shows us some of the beautiful projects she's made. She participates in a school assembly where all the kids learn about their culture and honour the salmon, an important food for her community.
Salmon Smoke House Video
Watch the salmon smoke house video in the link below from Cowichan Valley School Distric #79 Aboriginal Integration Projecte.
Video of Frank Assu in a traditional salmon smokehouse:
West Coast Trolling around Haida Gwaii PPT
Some pictures from Gord McMahon's, teacher at Highland, summer fishing adventures:
Salmon Literature - picture books, non-fiction
Saanich Moons, which are representative of the seasonal round in the Saanich area, and 4 months are named for different types of salmon. Most Aboriginal cultures had named moons to represent what was found in nature in their territory and needed to survive and live a healthy life.
Aboriginal Moons kit with the Saanich Moons book included can be found at LRCSaanich Moons LRC link
Strength of the River - Laxwesa Wa - film found in SD71 LRC
film by Barb Cranmer is 54 minutes long. Excellent source for demonstrating how important salmon and the fishery is to Aborigial people today and in the past.
Kwak'wala and Sliammon words for Salmon
Found in the attached powerpoint with audio embedded. Words found from First Voices Kids love practising these words!
First Salmon Ceremony
The above document contains the story, First Salmon Ceremony.
For the science aspect on the health of a salmon forest, see this article: Pacific Underwater: Salmon don't grow on trees, but trees grow on salmon.
Or this case study,
Great for retelling of the story afterwards. For easier cutting for the little ones, fold the salmon paper first, then cut a bubble/circle around the salmon instead. Glue only on one side of paper only and a little bit on the stick for easier line up on popsicle stick.
Salmon Ceremony Powerpoint
by Shannon Campbell from the Sto:lo Nation
For the science aspect on the health of a salmon forest, see this article:
Or this case study,
Hell's Gate Disaster
Hell's Gate Disaster (an article from the First Nations: The Circle Unbroken Video Series Teacher Guide) - carelessness, greed nearly destroyed salmon run: rock slides caused by railway construction blocked the Fraser River at Hell's Gate.
First Nations: NFB The Circle Unbroken Videos: SD#71 Destiny Link
On video 6 find the two films: Strength of the River: Fishing the Fraser River and Strength of the River: Fishing on the Coast.