Salmon welcoming ceremony coming back to Cape Mudge

Everyone is invited to attend on June 18

Salmon are honoured through art and song by the Wewaikai people

Welcoming the first salmon run of the season was an important event for the Kwa’kwa’ka’wa’kw that hasn’t been celebrated since 1984, and for more than 70 years prior to that.

Together with the Quadra Island United Church, the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre is bringing the ceremony back to Cape Mudge.

On June 18, at 3 p.m. members from the 15 local tribes as well as anyone else who wishes to attend, will line the shores of Cape Mudge to witness the ceremony,  drumming, dancing and partake in a salmon barbecue feast.

“As we embrace the spirit of reconciliation, this is a really fantastic time to reinvigorate ceremonies and celebrations that have eroded,” said Jodi Simkin, executive director at the cultural centre.

Simkin explained that the ceremony will have spiritual significance as salmon are held in high esteem within the community as the fish sacrifice their lives in order for the community to continue. Everything will be explained as the ceremony unfolds.

Cheif Dr. Robert Joseph will preside over the ceremony.

“The event offers a tremendous opportunity to experience an authentic tradition ceremony where everyone is welcome,” said the press release.

Simkin is expecting between 700 and 1,000 people to attend the event, and she is grateful for the many volunteers who have and will dedicate their time to making the event run smoothly.

It will be happening rain or shine and everyone is invited. Parking will be at the ball fields located beside the cultural centre unless vehicles have a valid SPARKS/handicapped pass or are transporting Elders.

Everything is free, and everyone is invited to attend, however donations will be accepted as both hosts are not-for-profit organizations.

Both the organizers at the church and the cultural centre hope to bring the celebration back as a yearly event.