Celebrating Salmon

The Pacific Northwest loves salmon. Since the early history, salmon have been a staple in the diets of all here for thousands of years. Salmon were more than just sustenance for the early tribes. They were part of their cultures, intertribal interactions, fishing technologies and their religious spirituality. Salmon have been an important part of the economies of the PNW from the time of the ancient native trade routes to modern commercial fishing.

Natives of the Pacific Northwest still revere salmon as part of their cultural and spiritual identity. In areas of the reservations, salmon is still part of religious services in some longhouses and churches. Many tribal members prefer to make their living fishing for salmon. The return of the salmon aides the passing on of traditional values from generation to generation. Natives still celebrate the annual salmon return that assures the renewal and continuation of all human and other life. As the salmon go, so does all of nature.

There are other, annual salmon celebrations that you will now discover coming this weekend, September 9th – 10th. For all salmon lovers, this weekend is a great time to join in the 18th Annual Coos Basin Salmon Derby. This event allows anglers of all ages to participate. There is a $25.00 entry fee for adults and kids under 12 are free. All proceeds go towards fish enhancement and education projects in Coos, Tenmile and Eel Lake Basins. The event is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and they will assist in the event. For the schedule and tickets, call ODFW 541-888-5515.

The second salmon celebration event is the 14th Annual Mill-Luck Salmon Celebration at the Mill Casino, North Bend, on the water. This is an opportunity for everyone to learn about Native American culture, art, food and music. There are free daily performances by Native musicians. If you haven’t heard Native American flute playing you are in for a real treat. There will be a marketplace with traditional Native foods and wares. There will be a bay-front canoe exhibit and you can participate in canoe races and traditional games. There will be activities for children. Partake of a variety of cultural demonstrations and educational exhibits.

The highlight of the Mill-Luck Salmon Celebration weekend is the salmon bake dinner with fresh salmon prepared in the traditional Coquille Tribe open-pit method. It’s worth the trip just for this delicious weekend conclusion.

Umpqua River Haven (www.umpquahaven.com) is less than an hour’s drive from these celebrations. Stop in to see us or stay a spell this weekend while you are taking in the uniqueness of this Pacific Northwest Native American Celebration! Click on the youtube video below to hear the beautiful Native American flute!

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