Sacred Salmon Ceremony
The Annual, “Sacred Salmon Ceremony & Friendship Pot Luck” is free & open to all. It is held the 2nd Saturday in May. May 13, 2023 Noon -3pm (Mountain Time) at Spring Bar (about 12 miles east of Riggins, up the Main Salmon River).
This celebration is held in appreciation for the annual return of the Chinook salmon and is conducted by one of our Nez Perce Elders and Hosted by Salmon River rafting with Wapiti River Guides.
Two Nations Fish Gathering – communion with Nature & Each Other
This Fish Nation commemoration was started by a small group of local river guides from the Riggins community in 2002. From inception, First Nation Nez Perce people were invited to join us to welcome the fish back to their primal waters. It is a sacred, alcohol-free, non-commercial, non-political, pure and simple grassroots get-together to celebrate the Chinook Salmon’s annual return. They are the namesake to the Salmon River and have been returning to these ancestral waters for centuries. We wish to honor their continued gift to all people and celebrate its iconic importance to the great circle of all life cycles and seasons.
The celebration is also a touchstone event to help remember treaty obligations and the importance of maintaining the integrity of all major elements that shape the human landscape of our area. This face to face event is intended as another personalized way to continue fostering healthier relationships between two sovereign nations with a stormy past. In today’s world, and the many human cultures that share common natural resources together, how we move forward to create a collective history together is important.
The Ceremony: Nez Perce representatives will conduct First Nations ceremonies (when & if they are able to attend) to help unite all people to the land, water, fish, and wildlife.
The Two Nations collective ceremony: Includes a riverside salmon ceremony, 3 sacred boat circles in the eddy at Spring Bar. A closing “talk circle,” and a final potluck. This friendship feast is an informal visiting session and get-to-know your neighbor finale.
Sacred Boat Circle: A lead dory (boat) with drummers and singers, followed by a parade of the additional craft will circle the Spring Bar Salmon Eddy. Everyone is welcome to bring their own boat or raft and participate. Those who can’t bring a boat are welcome to ride, as seating allows. We will have PFDs available for those who wish to ride in a boat.
A family-oriented event, so kids are most welcome. They are the next torch carriers of our respect for the natural world, so we encourage more of them. All gifting relationships in nature are reciprocal. Fish will only return if we continue to respect them and do the right things to keep them coming back. This also means passing on that same respect to the next generation of humans. Science is a sacred truth-seeking. How we treat the fabric of nature matters.
Open to all people. More event information: Gary & Barb Lane at 208:628-3523. Call for more detailed info and for directions to Spring Bar Campground.
** Out of respect for our guests who attend this Ceremony, we ask that people please not bring your dog.