Returning of the Salmon designed by Salish artist Debra Sparrow
50″ x 60″, 100% Polyester
Returning of the Salmon
Long before humans came to be, the animals in the water frolicked together near the mouth of the Fraser River. Each year, the salmon journeyed out to sea and back to the same river, but they did not swim up the river, as their way was blocked by killer whales.
Then one year a baby salmon made friends with an otter. The otter picked up the baby salmon and, resting it on her stomach, began to swim up the river. As soon as the mother salmon noticed her baby was missing, she followed the otter up the river, swimming past the killer whales. The whole school of salmon followed her. At last the otter stopped and, when all the salmon caught up, this became their final spawning grounds.
To this day, salmon return with uncanny precision to the natal river where they were born, and even to the very spawning ground of their birth. For this reason, they represent determination, intuition and respect for tradition to the Musqueam people.