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

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news