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First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim Paperback – January 1, 1998
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First Fish, First People provides an international sharing of respect for salmon, a refreshing alternative to the national grasping for a mere resource and to the multinational corporate monopolization of what may become a luxury food ... No journalist should write about salmon issues, and no politician or fisheries official should make a decision concerning salmon policy, before reading this book. (John Steckley CBRA)
First Fish, First People brings together writers from two continents and four countries whose traditional cultures are based on Pacific wild salmon: Ainu from Japan; Ulchi and Nyvkh from Siberia; Okanagan and Coast Salish from Canada; and Makah, Warm Springs, and Spokane from the United States remember the blessedness and mourn the loss of the wild salmon while alerting us to current environmental dangers and conditions. The text is enhanced by traditional designs from each nation and photographs, both contemporary and historical, as well as personal family pictures from the writers. Together, words and images offer a prayer that our precious remaining wild salmon will increase and flourish. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Judith Roche is the author of two collections of poetry, "Myrrh/My Life as a Screamer" and "Ghosts". She has taught poetry at various universities and schools around the Northwest, and serves as Literary Arts Director for Bumbershoot for One Reel. Meg McHutchison is a project director for One Reel, a screenwriter, and a former editor of the literary art magazine Opinion Rag Oh Yeah? Uh Huh! and REFLEX, the NW forum on Visual Art. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This book is a collection of perpectives on salmon from representatives of the peoples around the pacific rim whose lives have centered on salmon for thousands of years. The contributors are talented indigenous writers from the United States, Canada, Japan, and Siberia. The engaging text is amply illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, as well as drawings. The historic photographs are not the same ones that usually appear. For example, nearly every book on salmon in the nortwest has a twentieth century photograph of Indians fishing at Celilo Falls. Most books use the same photo. This book uses one that features in the forground the cable system that was used to get down to the fishing platforms, with the fishing platforms themselves in the background.
Some of the work in this book has been published elsewhere. But the context it is given here accentuates it in useful ways. For example, Sherman Alexie's poem, "The Place Where Ghosts of Salmon Jump," is engraved into a sculpture in Overlook Park behind the Spokane Public Library and is published in _The Summer of Black Widows_. But in this book it appears beside a nice photograph of the falls as it appears today, and a photo of Mr. Alexie standing on the footbridge above a section of the falls pointing downstream.