Towards Reciprocity: Orca, Chinook Salmon and the Columbia River

On October 17th, Confluence held a talk with Washington State Representative Debra Lekanoff (Tlingit), Klickitat Tribal Elder Wilbur Slockish, and James Holt, (Nez Perce) the Executive Director of the Buffalo Field Campaign on orcas, salmon, and the Columbia River.

The orcas, salmon, and waterways that bring beauty and grace to our region require a thriving network of committed caretakers – now more than ever. This discussion includes Native voices from Puget Sound and Columbia River to share ways that cultural practice and traditional ecological knowledge support our ecosystem.

The Southern Resident orca living along the West Coast are down to just 74 individuals. These families of whales stay together for generations and have members that are over 90 years old. Considered kin by many Native American Tribes and First Nations, the Southern Resident killer whales are the only segment of orcas listed under the Endangered Species Act. These fish-eating orca depend upon Chinook salmon, which comprise as much as 90% of their diet. A collective of diverse groups is working to improve habitat for salmon and orca.

Presented in partnership with Promise the Pod, a program of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and many partners.

Related Content