We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia and Snake Rivers and their tributaries, once the greatest salmon rivers in the world. We can do this by removing four outdated and expensive dams on the lower Snake River.
For too long these 4 dams have impeded the rights of Nez Perce and other Northwest First Peoples to exercise Traditional Fishing Treaty Rights. Now the salmon are dying by the thousands. The federal government promised the Nez Perce People the right to hunt and fish in their usual and accustomed places as part of the 1855 Treaty. The promise was broken. It’s time to right this wrong.
Wild salmon, steelhead and pacific lamprey have been used by the Nez Perce People for subsistence, trade and ceremonial purposes for centuries. If we free the Snake River, we can save the salmon, honor Treaty Rights and bring about the biggest river restoration in history.
“For the past five decades the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have been working to restore the Snake River and their salmon runs. With the dams in place, the Tribes have experienced impacts to their culture, spirituality, and way of life.
“We need to change the system in order for salmon and our people (Newe) to survive. Removing the Lower Four Snake River dams will help restore our fisheries, protect our culture and create a better future for our Tribal membership.”
Watch a short video about the Snake River ceremony here and documentation of the full event here.