Thank you to all the happy salmon supporters who connected with us at this year’s Salmonfest. The long hard work paid off, we are always happy to make a splash in the chaotic and joyous vortex that Salmonfest is. From a line-up of Salmon Champions speaking from the River Stage, to salmon dinner, to a super successful petition drive; Inletkeeper, with the support of incredible volunteers, we totally rocked Salmonfest 2023!
Our mainstage speaker series grounded the crowd in what the festival is really all about. Local Monica Zappa opened the weekend, helping us set collective intentions of love and respect, and people listened. Thomas Tilden from the United Tribes of Bristol Bay shared about the continued fight against Pebble and Donlin mines. Later, Sophie Swope of Mother Kuskokwim engaged the crowd with passion and grace, and people listened. Salmon brought our community of speakers together for an evening dinner where we broke bread and connected people from Tikahtnu to Rampart.
Saturday, our very own Quentin Simeon sparked off the day with anti-bycatch messaging. Georgie Heaverly shared some of her beautiful salmon poetry, and then the big guns came out; Yup’ik Elder; Gloria -Al’apacuuk- Simeon and her granddaughters; Ashlynn and Stormy shared their fish-camp memories and how so much has changed on the Kuskokwim River; people listened. Their stories were emotionally impactful. Later, Sophie Swope, Marissa Soots, Gabe Canfield, Katie Turner, and Millena Jordan all shared their perspectives growing up on the Yukon and Kuskowkim Rivers and how important these rivers and salmon are to the people of Alaska; and people listened.
On Sunday, we opened the River Stage with Kayci Hansen from Ninilchik, who reminded us to stay connected to our salmon landscapes. Kat Moore of Super Saturated Sugar Strings brought in the red lantern for all the Salmon Champions. We witnessed how the speakers impacted the audience, touching hearts and supporting us all in being better people of the salmon.
At the booth and causeway, we played Salmon Trivia with passers-by, engaged with folks on everything from renewable energy, to AK LNG, to poop in Cook Inlet/Tikahtnu. We acquired 400 signatures on our petition supporting Renewable Portfolio Standard legislation which would require our electric co-ops on the road system to adopt renewable projects in incremental steps over time. If you made time during your Salmonfest weekend to stop and talk to us, buy our merch, join our email list, or sign a petition, thank you and welcome! We invite you to stick around and stay engaged. If you missed us or didn’t attend Salmonfest – you can learn more about the renewable energy policy we’re supporting and take action here.
Thank you, Quyana, Chin’an, Quyanaa to all who came and shared their passion for Salmon, and the love you all share. We spoke for the Salmon and People Listened!