LAPWAI – On Wednesday September 22, 2021, the Nez Perce tribe announced the launch of the Salmon Orca Project (Project). In the wake of the Snake River salmon extinction crisis, the project directly calls on the Biden administration to take swift and unequivocal action to support the replacement of the four lower Snake River dams along the Snake River. .
âWe are fighting for the future of a sacred way of life for many in our region. The United States and Indigenous nations signed treaties – treaties that were to ensure the existence and protection of salmon in perpetuity. But, our salmon is on the verge of extinction. The treaties were not respected. As a result, our people, our culture and our way of life are threatened with extinction. That is why we are united as tribal nations and call on the Biden administration to honor the treaties made between our sovereign nations. We call on this administration to work with us to replace the lower Snake River dams. And we call on the Administration to do it now, not tomorrow or in two years. It’s time to act,” Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Chairman Samuel Penney said.
In the face of a precipitous decline in salmon populations in the Columbia-Snake River Basin, Northwestern tribes have united, urging action to replace Snake River dams and continue to work for protection of their way of life. These actions include the convening of the Salmon Orca Summit on the Squaxin Island Reservation in July 2021 and the issuance of resolutions by the Affiliate Northwest Indian Tribes and the National Congress of American Indians.
The Nez Perce tribe say that if no action is taken, it is not a question of whether, but when the salmon die; a species that has been around for millennia but is now on the verge of extinction because of what they describe as “failure of decision making and inaction”.
“As we face several challenges – an aging energy infrastructure, depressed local economies, climate change and steadily declining fish runs – we now have the opportunity to address all of these issues and adopt a new line of action to provide a better future for our region â, said President Penney.
The Salmon Orca project will be based on the domain of the website www.salmonorcaproject.com, and will also have an active presence on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.