Xatśūll members receive salmon

Chief Sheri Sellars and Natural Resource Coordinator Mike Stinson examine the fish upon arrival.
Chief Sheri Sellars and Natural Resource Coordinator Mike Stinson examine the fish upon arrival.

Both on and off-reserve Xatśūll (Soda Creek Indian Band – SCIB) members were able to pick up fish on Friday, Aug. 14 with 500 fish available in total.
“For the last three years, we haven’t been able to fish in the Fraser River. That’s due to the wildfires in 2017 and the Big Bar slide for the last two years,” says Kúkpi7 (Chief) Sheri Sellars.
This year the four Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) Chiefs decided to shut the fishing in the Fraser River down on account of the slide.
“At the same time, the band has had a lot of requests from Xatśūll members for fish. ‘We want salmon. This is the third year.’”
SCIB, along with the other three bands decided to purchase, fish this year, which unfortunately comes at a price, says Sellars.
The fish came from up in the Skeena area up north. Originally the four communities had hoped for 2,400 salmon total, but numbers were slightly reduced due to high demand.
“I don’t know if this is our last one. I don’t know if we’re planning to do another one or anything like that but Council wanted to get something to the homes of our band members.
The fish were purchased by the bands directly and the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council assisted by sending people north to pick them up.
“I’m just happy that we have salmon this year. Some anyways, I’m hoping we can get more,” says Sellars
Marilyn Turcotte was among the first to pick fish up and said she was excited because she didn’t get any last year and had run out. She was planning on canning a couple but leaving the rest fresh.
Shiley Bowe who was with Turcotte said she was smoking, canning and freezing some.
“I’m eating them all.”
They agreed the fish looked really good.
“They smell really good. I can smell them when I was closing the bag.”
By the time 250 fish had gone about half had gone to on-reserve members and half to off-reserve members.

Xatśūll members receive salmon (PDF)