Salmon Ceremony on the Columbia River at Millennium Park in Castlegar. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

VIDEO: Columbia River Salmon Ceremony engages youth

Ceremony held in Castlegar encourages the next generation to continue the work to bring salmon home

The sounds of drums and song could be heard in Castlegar Saturday as people gathered on the banks of the Columbia River for a Salmon Ceremony.

The ceremony that was designed to pray for the return of the salmon was led by Penticton Indian Band Chief Chad Eneas and Knowledge Keeper Richard Armstrong who both spoke to those gathered.

A key feature of this year’s ceremony was encouraging the youth to participate. Several children were selected to release five tiny salmon into the river while onlookers clicked stones together and cheered. Later, during a time of traditional singing adult drummers passed off their drums to the youngsters in the crowd and encouraged them to drum along.

“When you talk to your young ones, you tell them — be like the salmon, if there is an obstacle in front of you, no matter how high it is, you can find a way around it, over it or through it,” encouraged Armstrong.

Similar ceremonies were held the previous day downriver at Kettle Falls, Washington.

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A youth releases a salmon into the river during a Salmon Ceremony in Castlegar. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Aided by Penticton Indian Band Chief Chad Eneas a young girl releases a salmon into the Columbia River. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

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