Shuswap Salmon Symposium a Resounding Success
(Kenthen Thomas performing at Renaming Ceremony Salute to the Sockeye festival site).
Academics, scientists, Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers, students, youth, community members, conservationists, politicians and industry partners gathered for the inaugural Shuswap Salmon Symposium, September 30 and October 1 in Squilax, BC. The Symposium was held at the site of the Adams River Salmon Run. The gathering was focussed on discussing salmon conservation from multiple perspectives, including: traditional knowledge, community, art, science, law, culture, spirituality, governance, management and economics.
Secwepemc Elder Mike Arnouse speaking at the Symposium
Attendees visited Tsútswecw Provincial Park to witness the renaming of park, and were led on walks with Indigenous elders and knowledge-keepers to receive a greater understanding of Secwepemc connection to salmon. The Symposium continued at nearby Quaaout Lodge where an Indigenous feast was enjoyed and several presenters shared perspectives on the issues and challenges facing salmon conservation, from habitat concerns, need to incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge, realities facing fisheries managers, declining salmon populations, fish farming effects, and Indigenous lived experiences. A stimulating panel discussion covered many areas of concern related to salmon conservation and the action planning sessions enabled open dialogue between attendees.
TRU Masters of Science, Environmental Science candidate, Carmen Massey, TRU Bachelor of Tourism alumni, Julie John, TRU Dean of Science, Tom Dickenson, TRU Canada Research Chair, Courtney Mason, and TRU Executive Director of Aboriginal Affairs, Paul Michel, were instrumental in bringing together the Salmon Symposium in collaboration with The Adams River Salmon Society and Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band, and numerous community members, industry and conservationist partners. TRU students and faculty from Science, Law, Business and Tourism were in attendance for this in augural event. The action planning sessions and feedback reports reflect a strong desire to move this multi-disciplinary conversation forward in the future.
Photograph credit: Jim Cooperman