VIDEOS: Why is Wild Salmon important culturally?
A number of my artists friends ask, why is Salmon important to me? Heck I am a vegetarian, I don’t think eating animals is the right thing to do. Plus if they are at risk why are we eating them?
Ecologically, Salmon are a keystone to wildlife in BC. People, Bears, Eagles, Seals all feed on Salmon, do you know of many predatory species that can be eaten by different predators who can walk, fly, swim and use a blackberry? On their four year life cycle, Salmon migrate back hundreds of miles to their original spawning ground to mate and start the next lifecycle. Would you even think to go back to your parents house to consummate your relationship with the one and only person you are likely to have sex with?
There is a a cultural link in British Columbia to Wild Salmon going back thousands of years. Settlement on our rivers would not have happened without the availability of fish, what would we eat… raccoons? Cultural celebrations on our rivers were common place, throughout our region, when was the last salmon celebration you went to? The celebrations have gone the way of the salmon, its part of our West Coast Identity.
The last thing I need is an identity crisis, I am already an asian who grew up in the suburbs who can’t speak his parents native tongue and sings country music.
Even our modern day government leaders don’t see the value in arts and culture through their arts cuts. So even if you don’t eat salmon, think about the cultural legacy it has to our region and the people who lived off the land and celebrated what it gave them. Without the Salmon and the people before us who lived off them would you even be here?
Don Staniford on Wild Salmon
Background on Wild Salmon Issues in BC