Tulalips welcome first king salmon

TULALIP — The longhouse on the shores of Tulalip Bay echoed with drums and voices and filled with the smoke of twin cedar fires as members of the Tulalip Tribes marked the start of salmon season Saturday.

The annual Tulalip Salmon Ceremony is when the tribes honor the first king salmon of the season, bless the fishermen that will work the tribal fisheries and welcome guests from as far away as Alaska and Colorado to a traditional feast.

The ceremony began in the longhouse, with tribal drummers, singers and dancers of all ages gathered in the middle between the two fires.

Hundreds of people sat around the edges of the space. The first salmon was brought ashore in a litter and escorted to the longhouse before everyone moved over to the gym for the traditional meal.

Tulalip vice-chairman Glen Gobin, who led the ceremony Saturday, told tribal members and guests that they should especially be mindful of their resources this year after an unusually mild and dry winter.

“They’re saying this lack of snowpack hasn’t happened in 50 years,” Gobin said, urging members not to take the abundance of nature for granted.

“We do not stand here for ourselves today, we stand here for the young ones in the middle,” he said, indicating the numerous children interspersed with the adults, many of them in traditional regalia.

The salmon ceremony was revived in 1976 by tribal elders Harriet Dover and Dan Morris, and was passed down from Stanley Jones Sr. and Bernard Gobin to Glen Gobin, who is responsible for keeping the ceremony alive today.

After the salmon feast, the remains of the first king salmon were returned to the water, where tradition holds it will swim back to its people to tell them of the good treatment by the Tulalips, which in turn will lead to a good fishing season.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

More in Local News

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Most Read