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16th annual Raft River First Fish Ceremony held in Clearwater

The event included cultural activities and traditional food

The 16th annual Raft River First Fish Ceremony was held in Clearwater on Sept. 6 at the Raft River viewing platform, located 8 km north of the Wells Gray Visitor Info Centre.

During the event there were cultural activities, and traditional food was served, including soup, barbecued salmon, roasted vegetables and side dishes. Due to the fire ban in place the annual “pit cook” could not take place.

Tina Donald, Fisheries and Wildlife Coordinator for Simpcw First Nation, addressed those gathered by the river, saying “I love to share and talk about Simpcw fisheries. Stewardship and education have always been a priority in the North Thompson and Robson valleys to me.”

During the First Fish Ceremony, Simpcw First Nation invites guests to participate in activities that highlight Simpcw’s culture and history, which would normally include “pit” cooking, viewing the sockeye salmon, storytelling, and playing a traditional stick game called Lahal. Many enjoyed watching the Indigenous fishing techniques that were demonstrated during the event, before sharing a delicious meal together by the river.

Simpcw First Nation’s selective fishing program focuses on conservation and management within the territory. Simpcw is considered a leader in selective fish harvesting methods within the Secwépemc Nation, with several local rivers and tributaries proving to be popular for such techniques. These include the Raft, North Thompson, Clearwater, Holmes, Upper Fraser and Barriere Rivers.

For more information about Simpcw First Nation’s fishing program, contact Tina Donald at

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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