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 Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon


Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Tyan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>




 
 

Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>



Government: Crown Accounts Reflect Strong Economy Amid Pandemic

The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year... More>>

ALSO:

National: Christopher Luxon Elected Party Leader
Christopher Luxon has been elected Leader of the New Zealand National Party, alongside Nicola Willis as Deputy Leader. “It is a tremendous privilege to lead our great party, and I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me,” Mr Luxon says... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>


Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>

AUT: Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid
In reaction to commentary that Aucklanders are at breaking point after more than 100 days in lockdown and that compliance with the rules is under threat, AUT Emeritus Professor of Sociology Charles Crothers says... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels