Reaffirming connections as land and water stewards, the 2017 Okanagan Nation sockeye salmon fry release invited over 430 students to take part in the annual ceremony.
Over 10,000 Okanagan sockeye fry were released in the Penticton Channel on Wednesday as part of the ONA’s hatchery conservation efforts. A total of five million fry will be released over the course of May and June.
“The Okanagan Nation’s sockeye fry release provides a wide range of learning and engagement opportunities,” said Howie Wright, ONA fisheries manager. “Through programs such as FinS youth take part in raising the fry and learning about the development of salmon from smolt to fry. Through participating at the sockeye fry release they are able to connect to Syilx/Okanagan cultural practices, as well as learning more about the Okanagan Nation.”
The ceremony connects the youth with ntyitix (Chief Salmon) who is central to the Syilx people’s creation stories through captikwł (oral history) which is passed down through generations. It also teaches the children their responsibility to be stewards of the land and water.