Matriarchs and Mermaids to Launch 2018 Wild Salmon Caravan

 

 

 

The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is pleased to help organize and participate again in this year’s Wild Salmon Caravan supporting the need to protect wild salmon and supporting of Indigenous food sovereignty in Coast Salish and beyond waters and land.

The Wild Salmon Caravan will launch its fourth annual journey from Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 22. The journey will begin with a lively splash of creativity and cultural expressions of reverence for wild salmon as we follow and celebrate them as they migrate from the Salish Seas to the Adams River.

The Vancouver parade and ceremony will be led by Indigenous Matriarchs and traditional hand drummers and singers from diverse cultural groups.  A full program of performances and speakers will follow with an exhibit of salmon leather making.

This year’s theme of Water People, or Mermaids, was inspired by stories from cultures around the world attempting to ‘explain the unexplainable’ and highlight the mystery of life in the oceans and waterways where wild salmon migrate thousands of kilometers. The parade will highlight the beauty and splendor of Indigenous Grandmothers in full regalia as well as the Mermaids and Mermen of BC on multiple floats and related costumes, banners and flags.   After the Vancouver launch, the Wild Salmon Caravan will continue with parades, ceremonies, community forums and cultural tours in Salish communities around Chilliwack, Lillooet, Merritt, Kamloops and Chase.

Caravan curator Dawn Morrison says, “The four-year life cycle and migration of wild Sockeye Salmon provides a powerful metaphor for social and ecological resiliency in Indigenous fishing communities which have some of the most sustainable strategies anywhere.  Wild salmon need us now more than ever to celebrate and honour their amazing generosity as a keystone species and to show the world how important they are to our Indigenous land and food systems.”

The celebration will start at 10 am with a festive parade from the 700 block of Granville Street to the Roundhouse Community Centre. Opening ceremonies will follow with Coast Salish acknowledgements by Audrey Siegl, Ocean George and Senaqwila Wyss, and a Wild Salmon Ceremony with 13 Matriarchs and the Pacific Association of First Nations Women, as well as Indigenous youth singers Latisha and Isaiah Wadhams Pelkey.

Performances will fill the afternoon until 3:30 pm with creative combinations of words and sounds shared by storytellers and performing artists including The Melawmen Collective, Tawahum Justin Bige, Earle Peach, Kalilah Rampenen, Just and speakers Eddie Gardner of the Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance and Dawn Morrison of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

Corn Festival 2018

Another fun Fiesta del Maiz (Corn Festival) at Britannia Community Services Centre. Organized by the Canada El Salvador Action Network with support from Grandview Woodland Food Connection, this festival runs on close to a zero budget, with alot of volunteer contribution, which gives it a very authentic, grassroots, community building, cultural sharing, and family vibe. What I also like about this festival is that while it includes performance, it is not merely performative for mass consumption, like many government funded (often with large amounts of money) multicultural events. It is a simple sharing of culture where the majority of participants are Latin American themselves, and while the idea is to also share Latin American culture will all people, very little if any English is spoken. It feels real.  Then of course the music and the food is really great making the Fiesta del Maiz a really wonderful community event.

Wild Minds 2018 – Day 8 (Last Day)

Last day of a very successful program. Twelve youth consistently showed up and remained motivated and engaged. Big thanks to Environmental Youth Alliance Jess Henry for providing a rich and interesting experiential learning program with the youth gaining lots of great knowledge around native plants, ecosystems and sustainability. Spent our last day learning about plant habitat and planting in the Native Plant Demo Garden. Also took some time to put up the bird houses we build, discovering along the way that a black squirrel (not native) had taken over a flicker (native) nesting home.

Wild Minds – Day 6

Made a field trip to the UBC Farm and opportunity for the youth to see and work on an operating farm. Toured the Farm and did a little weeding. Also checked out the bee hives, chickens, researchers plots, orchard, and a walk through the edge forest as an opportunity to identify many of the native plants in the natural environment and that we have been learning about. A highlight was seeing a large Barred Owl close up. Was also good to show the youth an example of peri-urban farming, not to mention it is simply a very beautiful place to visit (despite ever encroaching development) and easy to get to by bus.

Wild Minds 2018 – Day 5

It was all about bees today, well actually all pollinators, including butterflies, wasps (yes, they are actually very beneficial), flies (they are too) and a whole host of other creatures that help pollinate and grow us food. Thing is, bees are the best pollinator and with honeybees as the only pollinator that actually collects pollen protein to feed the hive. All others are just in it for the nectar (sugar). Marika from Environmental Youth Alliance helped us learn to identify the difference between bees, wasps, and flies with many non bees that look alot like bees, even flies. Even among bees, there are thousands of different species, with many now on the endangered list. Then the youth had a chance to capture some insects and identify them before letting them free, which was a fun activity.