Posted by: hearttohearthcookery | April 27, 2010

Yakama Elder Honors Salmon

Tony Washines, Yakama Elder

Tony Washines, Yakama Elder

The 2010 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual meeting was in Portland, Oregon.  Lisa Schroeder, CCP and Tony Washines, a Yakama Elder presented Salmon Nation-Wild Salmon and its Connection to the Peoples of the Pacific Northwest.  Tony described his tribe’s and  his personal connection with salmon and Celilo Falls.  He told of the Wy-Kan-Ush (feast prior to the gathering of the salmon) and the meaning of each part of the salmon.  His Mother mixed the fat of the steelhead (a type of salmon) with pounded dry salmon.  He described the use of dip nets at the falls and how his Father lost his life at the falls when he was just 6 years of age.  Prior to that and beyond his understanding, his Father had told of the rock being placed in the falls as the beginning of the end of their fishing ground.  Celila Falls was inundated by the Dalles Dam March 10, 1957 in the middle of the Columbia River.  The Yakama are still fishing for salmon and Tony needed to return to his village soon after his talk as the salmon fishing was just beginning.  But his fishing was not as his people had at the site of the Celila Falls.


  1. Thank you for sharing. In the legends, Coyote uses Steelhead as an arrow in fighting off a monster. While Native people have always understood that Steelhead is a type of salmon as you indicated, the non-Native biologists classified it as a type of trout in order to exempt it from the treaty’s provision that recognizes the rights of Native people to harvest salmon.

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