Linda Meanus: Salmon ‘Was Our Survival.’

Linda Meanus (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) talks about Tommy Thompson and the importance of salmon. 1:25.



“So I still, huh, well I had to relearn the language because I was boarding school myself in Oklahoma, at the Riverside Indian School, so I went to school. But my great great – grandfather chief Tommy Thompson he never had an education, and my great – grandma Flora she only had second grade, but both were very wise, very smart for back in those days you know they didn’t felt that being native was important and so when my grandfather, his uncle had past who was chief then, [pause] became chief when he was 20 and lived to be a 114 when he died. But he lived on salmon every day so that was the importance of trying to keep, our keep our Celilo Falls, was because of our salmon, because it was our way of life. It was our survival.
So when they took that away [(sigh]) My great grandma Flora said that my grandfather died of a broken heart, because that’s what he lived for. It was to keep the salmon.”