It’s salmon season in Alaska and that means people all over the State are putting on their waders or grundens, pulling out their nets and poles, and heading out to our salmon waters at all hours of the day and night. In our watershed, Dena’ina, Alutiiq and Sugpiaq people have been in relationship with salmon for time immemorial. Today this nourishing and enduring relationship is cherished in the hearts of so many Alaskans, it connects us to this land and to each other.
Alaskan’s connection to salmon is worth honoring, protecting and celebrating. It is in this spirit that Salmonfest, that little music festival that has now grown to feature world class acts in Ninilchik Alaska, was born. Originally organized with the intention of raising awareness and galvanizing a movement of salmon people ready to take action against Pebble Mine, Inletkeeper partners with Salmonfest to ensure that its roots in salmon advocacy hold steady, even as the festival grows. From organizing speakers on stage, to producing Salmonfest Radio, we make sure that Salmonfest remains a platform for salmon love and salmon action.
This year, the salmon action centered at Salmonfest is familiar – tell the EPA to finalize permanent protections for Bristol Bay. That’s right, 11 Salmonfests later and the fight to stop Pebble Mine is as important as ever. At Salmonfest, between moving and grooving to the music, the audience can catch Salmon Champions from Bristol Bay share why their home and salmon culture need all of our voices to #backbristolbay once again.
Of course, the threat of Pebble Mine is not the only salmon story highlighted at Salmonfest. The Salmon Causeway features more than a dozen organizations working to protect salmon all over our State. Salmon Champions from Bethel to Soldotna will be sharing salmon stories and issues that need to be uplifted from their region.
In Alaska, music and salmon share an ability to bring people together, soften hearts, and spark joy in a way that allows us to unite across differences. Spaces like Salmonfest offer an opportunity to come together in celebration and leave more informed and more inspired to give energy to the movement of people protecting Alaska’s salmon now, for all future generations.
Salmonfest is August 5 – 7, if you will be heading up or down the Kenai Peninsula to join us in Ninilchik this year, make sure to stop by and see Inletkeeper in the Salmon Causeway! You can purchase tickets or sign up to volunteer with Salmonfest at salmonfestalaska.org.