Coast Salish people and the resident Salish Sea blackfish have all depended upon wild Pacific salmon for sustenance since time immemorial. The teaching of Salmon Woman is central to Lummi’s understanding of the reciprocal relationship we have with the place we live in.

Since the the signing of the Point Elliott Treaty in 1855, human-caused pressures and pollutions have significantly degraded our salmon runs.  The diminishment of salmon runs has profoundly impacted our heritage economies and traditional lifeways, and has brought our resident Salish Sea orca population to the brink of extinction.

At Lummi, we are working to replenish salmon runs with habitat restoration, hatchery production, and sound fisheries management policy. We are interested in researching the effects that marine vessel traffic, dams, various pollutions, and other human endeavors might have on salmon runs. Science complements our traditional teachings about sustainability and the care we must take with all our relations if we, ourselves, are to survive.

Lummi hereditary chief Bill (Tsilixw) James shares the teaching of Salmon Woman.