Salmon Ceremony 19-20

Along the bank of the Nisqually River at Frank's Landing, Wa He Lut Indian School conducts the First Salmon Ceremony annually. This ancient ceremony is directly integrated with Native language, culture, and academic curriculum school wide. It is led by Kendall Archer, who is the Keeper of the Ceremony, a Skokomish Tribal Elder, and cultural leader (this is the adult who is guiding the boys when they carry the salmon out to the river and who is speaking to the crowd in the pictures taken inside). Wa He Lut Indian School honors our human connection with the salmon and our environment through commemorating the first salmon that arrives/is caught by fishermen each season. Following this ceremony is a student-led potlatch, feast, gift giving, and cultural exchange event coordinated with Nisqually and Puyallup tribes, local tribes, Olympia Waldorf School (these are the kids pictured exchanging gifts with our students, participating in the gift-giving event described above), honored guests, elders, community leaders, and WA State colleagues. Wa He Lut Indian School remembers the traditional teachings of tribal ancestors passed down from generation to generation 'since time immemorial' to honor the salmon so that they will continue each year. This is why the salmon is given back to the river at the end of the ceremony.

Salmon ceremony gathering in the gym
students gathered for ceremony
salmon ceremony preparing the salmon
Students and salmon for ceremony
students and elders gather for the salmon ceremony
drumming at salmon ceremony
students at the water
Students waiting for the ceremony
Students at bus
students preparing to drum
students waiting for salmon ceremony
students line the walkway to the dock
Students and adult at salmon ceremony