This year’s First Salmon Ceremony took place August 8th

Click below to watch an interview with Eric Pelkey on this year’s First Salmon Ceremony.


We’re doing the first salmon ceremony because we’re going to be setting the reef net today. Usually, the First Salmon Ceremony always has to be done before the reef net setting and usually is done before the salmon season begins.

So this is something I was concerned about when the date was decided on for the reef net setting. I realized that the First Salmon Ceremony hadn’t been done yet. So I contacted the two supervisors of that program and told them we need to do that this morning before they set the reef net. That’s something that’s always happened before the Reef Net is set.

My father told me that when he was a boy in Tsawout the First Salmon Ceremony lasted for three days. So it was quite a thing that involved the entire community then, and had a lot of functions going on while the ceremony was happening.

Interviewer: What will be happening in today’s ceremony?

We’re going to use one of the young ladies and some of our singers to say the prayers from Tsawout, they’re on their way. When they get here we all go down to the beach and start the ceremony.

We bring the salmon up from the water, and do the sacred songs, the salmon will be handed off to the cook. After that, I’ll do a little talk explaining to them the importance of where we’re at, QENEṈ,IW̱ has a really historical story to it regarding our people. And the Reef Net site SX̱IX̱ŦE and that is commonly known as the Pelkey reef net site and historically belonged to our family. So that’s why they asked for my permission to set the Reef Net site here being the hereditary chief.

I’m glad that our relatives from Tsawout are on their way so that we can have the ceremony this morning and I hear that our fishermen have spotted quite a few salmon out there so hopefully we’re gonna have a good day.