Fish Ceremony set for Saturday, May 18, in West Linn

05.14.2019 Danielle Frost Events

If you go

Fish ceremony

When: 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18

Where: Willamette Park, 1100 12th St., West Linn


By Danielle Frost

Smoke Signals staff writer

WEST LINN -- The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde’s fish ceremony will have different scenery then in years past.

Willamette Park along the banks of the Willamette River in West Linn will be the new venue, upstream from Willamette Falls, instead of being held at the historic McLean House.

The event will include Tribal and local organizations’ information tables, a demonstration salmon pit, speakers and a community ceremony.

All are welcome to join as the ceremony provides an opportunity to connect the local community with the Tribe and its cultural practices, as well as offers a chance for Tribal members to interact and share traditionally cooked salmon over an open fire and served on a cedar plank.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. with information tables featuring local nonprofit organizations, a First Foods table, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and Tribal museum Chachalu.

There will be a “Salmon Song” to open the event, followed by an invocation and various speakers. Participants will then head to the river shore where cedar branches will be placed in the water along with the fish bones.

The Tribe’s connection to the falls and river dates back to pre-European times. Willamette Falls, or “ikanum” in Chinuk, is within the ancestral homelands of the Chinookan-speaking Clackamas and Clo-We-Walla peoples relocated to the Grand Ronde Reservation after signing the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855.

Log books from the early days of the Grand Ronde Reservation, when Tribal members were required to account for their whereabouts, listed Willamette Falls as a frequent destination.

Transportation to the ceremony from Grand Ronde is being provided for 14 people with Tribal Elders receiving priority. To sign up, visit the Elders Activity Center, 48940 Blacktail Drive, or call 503-879-2233.