First Nations and Prince Rupert community celebrate arrival of salmon

The North Coast Indigenous event returned for its seventh year at the Civic Centre

The hallways of the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre were crowded as First Nations communities gathered together to celebrate the arrival of the spring salmon. The smell of smoked salmon filled one room where vendors were selling everything from salmon sandwiches to soups. Across the hall dancers were putting on performances, tapping their feet to the sound of their drums.

READ MORE: 7200 smolt released this year into the Oldfield Creek

“We are here to thank the creator for this food that our people have been utilizing since time immemorial,” said Ron Nyce, MC of the Salmon Fest 2019.

READ MORE: Nisga’a speakers in Prince Rupert silent no more

This is the seventh year Salmon Fest celebrates the coming harvest at the civic centre. The day began at 10:30 am a.m. with an opening ceremony and lasted twelve 12 hours, closing with a drum drill inviting everyone to come and participate in the music. Twelve different groups, including one composed of Bollywood fusion dancers, put on artistic drumming and dancing performances as spectators watched from the stands eating barbecued salmon.

Nyce said approximately 400 people were in attendance throughout the day. He is hopeful that it is contributing to the revitalization process of First Nation’s cultures and languages by exposing the rest of the community to their artwork and forms of dance.

“This day is about all First Nations,” he said. “We are salmon people.”

READ MORE: North Coast Indigenous communities celebrate salmon at festival


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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