SEATTLE, WA (8/19/14)—The 22nd Annual Salmon Homecoming Celebration is set for September 18-20 and Waterfront Park in Seattle will once again come alive with the sounds of Indian dancing, drums and singing and thousands of visitors. This year’s theme, dedicated to the life and memory of the late Billy Frank, Jr., is “Man has responsibility, not power.” The theme is based on a traditional proverb of the Tuscarora Indian Nation, one of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.
“This year’s theme says a lot about the spirit of Salmon Homecoming and our long time leader, Billy Frank,” said Salmon Homecoming President Walter Pacheco of the Muckleshoot Tribe. “The fact that we borrowed the theme from a tribe on the other side of the country even carries meaning, representing the extensive reach that Chairman Frank had in his lifetime and that his work continues to have today.”
Frank, a Nisqually tribal member who chaired the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for more than 30 years, passed away at the age of 83 on May 5. He had been an adviser to and supporter of Salmon Homecoming throughout its history. “Billy understood the responsibility spoken about in that Tuscaroran proverb,” said Pacheco. “He knew we are all responsible for the health of the salmon, the environment and the protection of the land, air and water.”
“For 22 years, the Salmon Homecoming Alliance has brought Native American culture and Traditional Environmental Knowledge into the heart of Seattle, providing a unique opportunity for people from all walks of life to learn about and enjoy the many lessons and customs of the indigenous people of this land. It has always been our belief that everyone, regardless of age, gender or vocation is someone of great importance and that—as the Tuscarora proverb indicates, has a responsibility to help take care of the land and natural resources needed to sustain future generations,” said Pacheco.
A coalition of Native American Tribes, the City of Seattle, the State of Washington and King County as well as agencies, businesses and NGOs from across the Puget Sound are joining to sponsor and host the three-day Salmon Homecoming event celebrating Native culture and the importance of salmon to the people of our region – culturally, economically, environmentally & spiritually, Pacheco added.
Thursday and Friday, Sept. 18-19 are School Days on the Waterfront, featuring Native American ceremonies, arts and crafts, storytellers, environmental exhibits (and a venture through the Seattle Aquarium, of course). Saturday, Sept. 20 all of these activities open to the general public, along with a salmon bake, a small pow wow, Northwest gathering and Cedar Canoe Welcoming event.
“We invite one and all to come join us September 20 in celebrating one of the most treasured parts of Northwest heritage, the salmon, in memory of Billy Frank, Jr.” said Pacheco.