Quyanaqvaa Tailucci!!! (Yup’ik: Oh how to thank you all for coming here!?!?!)
For this year’s Salmonfest event: August 4-6, we, water protectors of Tikahtnu; Cook Inletkeeper, have worked diligently with the organizers to find speakers between performers, taking care to bolster and highlight an Indigenous presence at Salmonfest 2023 with messages from their waters and regions. Ninilchik community members will open and close the festival with a warm welcome and farewell. Shelly Cotton and others from the United Tribes of Bristol Bay will share a victory message regarding Pebble Mine and celebrate progress towards permanent protections of Bristol Bay waters. Sophie Swope will call the audience to support the people and fisheries of the Kuskokwim by opposing Donlin Mine. These voices, and many other Salmon Champions are working to keep the Salmon in Salmonfest and bring important salmon stories, culture and actions to the audience’s attention.
On Saturday, Yup’ik Elder; Gloria -Al’apacuuk- Simeon and her family; son and grandchildren will share a story; some powerful words of wisdom from Yup’ik Nation about the cycles of life and the importance of salmon as a teacher. You can read Gloria’s “I am My River” in the Delta Discovery. Also, Anaan’arar Sophie Swope from Mother Kuskokwim with Alexis Evon, and Gabe Canfield from the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association with youth from the Yukon River; Katie Turner and Millena Jordan will share the stage and stories from their rivers. Musicians for Salmon, Fisher Poets, and Angler Stewards will cast their well-wordsmithed messages swimming with salmon imagery.
A genuine all-encompassing and welcoming presence at Salmonfest is important to all our Alaska communities. Inletkeeper promises to be a steadfast ally at Salmonfest for all people, all animals; especially SALMON. We invite you to visit our booth where we’ll be offering discounted memberships, discussing renewable energy, and giving away cool merchandise like hats, t-shirts, and stickers. Come say hello!