About Spirit of the Salmon

Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit (Spirit of the Salmon)

Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit, the salmon’s spirit, is sacred life. The salmon was provided a perfect world in which to thrive. For thousands of years the salmon unselfishly gave of itself for the physical and spiritual sustenance of humans. The salmon’s spirit has not changed; what has is the environment that once sustained that powerful spirit.

This Spirit of the Salmon Update reports what appears to be a halt in the steep decline in total salmon runs. The Update records other accomplishments on the journey to recover salmon and the culture centered on them (Learn more here»). Just as importantly the Update describes our native vision of what remains to be done.

In the years since Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit or Spirit of the Salmon Plan, our tribes have buried many of our elders who once fished Celilo Falls and drank from the waters of the Columbia. With redoubled commitment we produce this Update to convey to our partners—to the states and federal government and to all involved—that it is our Creator-given responsibility to honor, respect and protect our fish, our Big River, our collective home. If salmon—and the lamprey and sturgeon that are also part of this Update—are to survive in the Columbia Basin, we must face the challenges before us with our goals clearly in mind, in heart and in spirit. As we said 19 years ago when we released the Spirit of the Salmon Plan, we must respect, reestablish and restore the balances that once enabled this watershed to perform so magnificently.

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