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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news