By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News
It has been an amazing journey following the Tulalip community as they prepared for the annual Salmon Ceremony over the past several weeks. Throughout this time we learned of the ceremony’s revival, led by Harriette Shelton Dover and a number of elders in the mid-70’s, as well as all the spiritual work that goes into the special honoring. We revisited a fabulous retelling of the traditional Tulalip story, Salmon Man, by Bernie ‘Kai Kai’ Gobin, and we took a deeper look into the ten songs, chants and prayers that are offered at each Salmon Ceremony.
Another highlight of this mini-series was getting to know the participants, who showed time after time why this cultural event is important to them, as they left their all on the floor during each practice. The participants also helped raise awareness for the MMIP epidemic during a special candlelight vigil following a practice session. And of course, we shared the significance of traditional regalia and the role that shawls have in the longhouse.
With only two practices remaining, June 2nd and 9th, this will serve as the last installment of the series before the event takes place on June 11th. We couldn’t think of a better way to bring this series to a close than sharing a selection of photos from the practices leading up to the day when yubəč, the king salmon, arrives at Tulalip Bay. As a reminder, the last practice will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Longhouse. The Salmon Ceremony will be held at the Tulalip Longhouse as well, on June 11th, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Tribal leaders are inviting the entire community of Tulalip to the last two practice sessions, where a complete walkthrough of the event will take place so that the participants can connect and learn the power behind each song and dance.
Said Tulalip Chairwoman Teri Gobin, “We’ve come a long way and we’ve been practicing for a lot of years. What is most important now is that we are making sure the young ones are learning the songs, the dances and about those elders who brought it back again.”
See you at Salmon Ceremony!