Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Native Americans on NZ salmon mission

Native Americans on NZ salmon mission

23 Mar 2010

A group of Native Americans are on a spiritual mission in New Zealand - to ask chinook salmon to return home to California.

Winnemem Wintu tribal leaders will gather on the banks of the Rakaia River, in Canterbury, next Sunday (28.03.10) to apologise to the chinook salmon - an introduced species that's also known as quinnat in New Zealand.

At the culmination of a four-day ceremony, the 24 representatives will perform the "nur chonas winyupus" or middle water salmon dance.

The tribal group - who are collaborating with New Zealand Māori leaders of the South Island Ngai Tahu tribe to organise the ceremony - was welcomed to New Zealand yesterday (22.03.10) with a traditional Māori powhiri.

Return of the salmon
Chinook salmon were once abundant in the waters of the Sacramento and McCloud rivers but numbers were drastically reduced with the construction of a dam that obstructed seasonal salmon runs.

According to the Winnemem, the dam broke a sacred covenant that the tribe had with the fish.

The tribe says that New Zealand salmon are descended from eggs taken from their rivers, and they are hoping to reintroduce eggs from this original stock back into their homeland.

Chief Caleen Sisk-Franco says the tribe came to New Zealand on a vision quest based on a higher spiritual calling.

"The spirits came into the fire area here and they said ‘you’ve got to get it done’."

Representatives of the Winnemem - a small tribe living on the edge of poverty - scraped together funds for the important trip by selling trinkets, soliciting help from richer tribes, and through Facebook.

For the riverside ceremony, the delegation has brought ceremonial regalia including eagle headgear, a container of sacred water, weapons and a ceremonial drum.

NZ chinook salmon

The chinook salmon - known in New Zealand as quinnat, king or spring salmon - is one of five species of Pacific salmon. It is New Zealand’s largest freshwater fish, and the largest species in the salmon family.

The breed was introduced into New Zealand rivers on the South Island’s east coast in Canterbury and Otago more than 100 years ago.

The ocean-swelling chinook salmon swim up the rivers to spawn, offering a prized catch for anglers.

While the chinnook is now scarce along the Californian Pacific coast, it has thrived in New Zealand waters. In the US, the species is found in the San Francisco Bay, California, to north of the Bering Strait in Alaska.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the salmon has established spawning runs in the Rangitata, Opihi, Ashburton, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau rivers.

Nine populations of chinook salmon in the US are listed as threatened or endangered - commercial fisheries in Oregon and California were closed in 2008 and 2009 due to the extremely low population of fish present, which was blamed on the collapse of the Sacramento river run.

More information:

Salmon fishing in New Zealand

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news