LinneaCould you please tell me how important, or what the importance of salmon is to the Sto:lo?

ElderThe salmon, I think, it's mostly for your health reasons. We could go back to the origin of the salmon. Like my uncle Ed Leon, from the Chehalis village, he told me a story about the origin of the salmon, why we got the salmon.

The way he explained it to me, that when God, God, I guess we'd call him God today, He created mother-earth, He put everything on mother-earth that He thought that we would be able to survive on. And there was bear, and there was moose, and deer. You know, they said that was all heavy meat, you know, and they were praying to the Creator and they said, "Send us something that we can eat without feeling stuffed and heavy, because we can't do any work after we eat. We eat too much, or whatever," but the meat, the meat of the animals was weighing them down. So the Creator told them to go down to the river and use these dip nets. He instructed them on how to make a dip net. He said, "Go down to the river and pull these things out of the river, they call them 'salmon', and you try that."

So they went down to the river, and they dipped their net in, and they pulled out these salmon, and they barbecued them. And they felt real good about it, you know, they felt, you know, light, and I guess the fat of the salmon, you know, it was really health benefits to them.

LinneaYes.

ElderAnd today, they call it omega-3, you know, and they use it, you know, they use it in the health food store, you know, they sell it in pill form, you know, and it's mostly oil from the salmon, or any sardines, or whatever, you know.

And it was very important to our people because it allowed our people to survive, you know, and, even though they had animals during all year round, you know, they'd really work hard in the summertime to preserve salmon. And they'd make the oil, you know, eulachon oil, or sockeye oil, for their winter uses, you know. And, like I said, that was more important than the meat from the animals around.

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