US tribes representatives visit Revelstoke to talk salmon reintroduction

Interested in the push to bring salmon back to the Upper Columbia River right here at Revelstoke? Representatives of U.S. Tribes will be in Revelstoke to talk about their plans to make it happen.

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Poster promoting June 25 talk in Revelstoke

Representatives of the Upper Columbia United Tribes and the Sinixt Nation will host a community meeting in Revelstoke on June 25 to discuss their push to get salmon reintroduced to the upper reaches of the Columbia River, and to talk about how the Columbia River Treaty negotiation and modernization is important to that process.

The Revelstoke presentation is part of a tour to through Columbia River communities in Washington State and B.C. that includes ceremonies to commemorate 75 years since Kettle Falls, Washington was permanently flooded by the rising waters of the Grand Coulee Dam reservoir.

The Revelstoke presentation is part of a tour to through Columbia River communities in Washington State and B.C. that includes ceremonies to commemorate 75 years since Kettle Falls, Washington was permanently flooded by the rising waters of the Grand Coulee Dam reservoir.

In June, 1940, an estimated 8,000–10,000 people mourned the flooding of the falls in a “Ceremony of Tears” organized by the Colville Confederated Tribes and attended by representatives of the Yakama, Spokane, Nez Perce, Flathead, Blackfeet, Coeur d’Alene, Tulalip, and Pend d’Oreille tribes.

Now, the ancient ceremony is being recreated, including a salmon ceremony in Castlegar. In Revelstoke, representatives of U.S. tribes in Washington State will explore their push to find ways to get salmon past the hydroelectric dams that block their path, and reintroduce salmon to the headwaters of the Columbia River.

D.R. Michel is the Executive Director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT), and he told the Revelstoke Mountaineer the June 25 presentation in Revelstoke will explore the ongoing technical, scientific and political efforts underway to promote restoration of traditional salmon migrations in the Columbia. His organization is an umbrella group representing individual tribes whose territory is above the dams in the U.S., and have been cut off from salmon by the dams.

He will explain the importance and progress of UCUT and other groups’ efforts to link ecosystem and salmon restoration to the international Columbia River Treaty, which is in the midst of a process to explore negotiation and modernization of the Canada/U.S. deal concerned with water and hydro issues relating to the international river system.

The presentation starts at 7 p.m. on June 25 at the Revelstoke United Church, 314 Mackenzie Avenue.

Click on the play button on the SoundCloud link below to listen to our interview with D.R. Michel:

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