Mythology and Traditional Narrative

Prior to contact with European settlers, the Stó:lō believed that the salmon and many other animals were actually people who could transform into animals. Salmon people were thought to live in villages under the sea, each village housing one of the five different types of salmon. Northwest Coast peoples still believe that if respect is not given to the first salmon caught, the future return of the salmon will be negatively affected. Salmon have always been integral to the survival of the Stó:lō peoples, therefore, respecting the salmon people is of utmost importance. Much of Stó:lō spirituality and mythology is based upon salmon, because of its importance to their economy and their well being.

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