The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have celebrated the return of the salmon to their natal streams for thousands of years. The long tradition of the sacred First Salmon Ceremony was broken more than 60 years ago as salmon runs dwindled and some runs were driven to extinction. With efforts to recover salmon showing some successes, the Tribes were able to resurrect the First Salmon ceremony, which had to be recreated from the memories of tribal elders. 2011 will see the 6th celebration of the resurrected ceremony.
Although filming the ceremony itself is prohibited, we were able to capture some of the powerful emotions surrounding the return of the tradition in this brief vignette.
Filmed and produced by Howell at the Moon Productions for the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board.