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y̓é tək síƛ̓q̓t (ye-ah tik sheetl-qt) - good day
Aiding in the rescue of thousands of salmon stuck without a way to get to their spawning grounds, the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly’s Michelle Bacon and Jake Veenman recently joined volunteers, government representatives, and community members at Bridge River Indian Band for their fish salvage operation. This exciting initiative was taken on by the CNA's nłeʔkepmx Guardians.
Low water levels following a hot summer were impeding the migration of salmon near Lillooet, where the fish salvage operation took place. With many salmon caught below the fish ladder set up to assist them in their journey due to a waterfall in their way, community members and others began to lift the fish using nets.
“The river was approximately 20 feet below the normal level, and the fish ladder had no water in it for the fish to get upriver to spawn,” recalled Michelle. “As we arrived, I could hear the drums going and songs being sung.”
Michelle and Jake worked quickly to find where they could best be of help, spending the next number of hours helping to bring fish from dip nets up and over the falls. Michelle and Jake worked alongside people from government forestry, fisheries and oceans departments, community members, and many others to do what they could for the salmon.
“It was such an amazing experience, and awesome to see so many come together to help ensure the future of the salmon,” added Michelle.
It is estimated that the group had saved more than 5,000 salmon within the first few days of the operation. The CNA is committed to supporting efforts that protect and advance nłeʔképmx rights, knowledge, laws, and traditional foods, such as the salmon saved as a part of the salvage operation.
Thank you to Michelle and Jake for their work in this effort. Check out Q101 Merritt’s story on the fish reclamation on their website.
kʷukʷstéyp (kwukw-shteyp) - thank you from all of us!