Monday, June 10, 2019

Singing the Song of Wild Salmon

We are singing the song of wild salmon,
singing the song of the People,
who once knew fish so plentiful
they could have walked on their backs
across the river.

Today they are singing
a song of sorrow
for the salmon are diseased and dying;
all that feeds on them
-         - whale, bear, wolf -
are hungering.

We walk on the roadway, singing:
singing for wild salmon.
Eagles circle overhead,
their cries sharp and piercing.
They add their voices to those
singing the song of 
wild salmon.

The young warrior beats his drum
and sings a powerful, ancient song,
the song of his people
for all of Time :
that everything is One.
He is singing for the food
that feeds us all,
singing the song of 
wild salmon.

Yesterday the Tla-o-qui-aht people called for a rally at Anchor Park to say they want fish farms out of their territory. Pollution and sea lice from the fish farms are infecting the wild salmon, which are now diseased and dying. If the salmon disappear, this whole ecosystem will be impacted.  

First Nations have been opposing fish farms for many years on the Coast, as they watch wild salmon stocks decline, orcas and bears and wolves all hungering. Governments move too slowly, and in a crisis there is no more time to delay. We walked to the fish plant chanting: Fish  farms out of Clayoquot Sound! Young warriors sounded the drums and sang for the wild salmon, that has kept their people alive for thousands of years. 

They spoke yesterday of how, since colonization, they have watched the ecosystems they protected and cared for for millenia being destroyed. Now, they are our greatest hope for protection of all that is left and endangered - these are unceded territorial lands of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. This is their homeland. We are only visitors here. 


  1. It's such a shame, that when the first warning cries were sounded, so many years ago, that we didn't collectively pay attention, consider other options; instead, what we once perhaps thought a feasible means of resourcefulness turns out, over time, to be equally damaging. It's a no win situation, for those who are the natural stewards of the land and waters, and for those working in the fisheries industry. And it doesn't help that consumer demand far exceeds what might be readily available and/or sustainable. Our greed and commerce are the golden calves. And now, how do we come up with alternatives that first and foremost protect what is still surviving, in order that it may once again thrive, while allowing for people to still earn a living? We desperately need answers and solutions that protect what is most worthy of protecting, - yet still embraces a moderate balance. Or maybe that should be a modest balance.

  2. Hello from Alberta, Canada.This post touched me deeply. Watched the yearly salmon run near Sooke, BC once and it made me terribly sad to see them struggling upstream, lay their eggs, die and become food for other species … as is circle of life … Too bad we humans don't honour and respect our own circle of life. Love, cat.

  3. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I have been aware of this stuff for 40 years, everyone thought we were crazy. But had governments made changes then, we could have turned things around. Corporate greed has been the downfall, and governments cave to corporations - who by and large dont even pay taxes. Sigh. Things are in such a sorry state, we cant even attempt to live sustainably any more, as we once might have. We are at a point of trying to prevent ecosystem collapse.

  4. They are correct. I watched a program about fish farms and other industries along the rivers decimating the wild salmon population. Our world is just really f**ked right now.

  5. The extent and rapid rate of extinction of species is frightening- that fragile balance can never be restored once the ecosystem collapses. This is terrible.

  6. This is so poignant, Sherry. We are in dire need of answers and solutions if we hope to save the ecosystems.

  7. They've been telling and telling us for years where our greed will get us. I don't know what it will take for the rest of the world to listen.

  8. This is happening in so many places... soon the sea is free of fishes... but we do need our salmons don't we?

  9. Your peaceful march was a good thing to do, to get attention to your cause. I like the young one, last verse, singing for all. I had not realized. Best wishes for the campaign.
    We have fish farms here in the Southern U.S. Around here it is mostly Catfish. In Louisiana they flood the rice fields and grow crawfish when they are in season. I don't know their impact, most of our commercial fish come from the Gulf of Mexico.

  10. Sherry, this is so heartbreaking and sad. I fear for the future of this earth.


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