26th Annual Tseriadun Native Salmon Bake and Honor Ceremony
The Native Salmon Bake and Honor Ceremony is an annual event that honors the native people of our area. It is a time for everyone to come together (native and non-native) to honor indigenous native people especially “the people who lived here, the spirits of the old ones, and all those who traveled the trail of tears from Southwest Oregon to Siletz” and to share stories, music, food and memories so our history won’t be forgotten.
Rick Cook played an important role in getting this event established at Tseriadun State Recreation Site, which was formerly known as Tseriadun Village when it was inhabited by the indigenous people. The event originally started in 1993, at the Port Orford Heads, as Rick explains in the video. It was moved to Tseriadun (which in Athabaskan means “the place that sticks out” like the point) in 2005. Many more details are in the video:
Modoc Earl shares a story with the group before everyone enjoys the salmon that has been prepared in a Yurok way of cooking, on Redwood stakes, taught by Yurok Elder Grant Pilgrim. Earl is Modoc, Shasta, and one of the bands of Pit River.
And Uncle Speedy shares one last story before the meal is served.
More Photos of the event at Tseriadun
Photos and More From Earlier Years
The following is a 2008 Newspaper article about our Tseriadun Ceremony.
Port Orford Today
May 22, 2008
Indian Honor Ceremony
By Ron Daves
Last Sunday at Tseriadun Day Use Park, people started arriving at about 8am. The crowd continued to grow until about 10, when we heard the boom, boom, boom coming our way from where the crowd was gathering. From our camp host’s motor home, we could see men digging a hole in the lawn.
Normally, this would be the harbinger of a big problem for a camp host. However, this was a gathering of several of our Indian tribes having an “Honor Ceremony and Salmon Bake”. The organizer had cleared the gathering and digging of a fire pit with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. There were people of Indian heritage from Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians, which includes the Tututin and Takelma Tribes. Also attending were people from the Coos, Coquille and Karuk.
We sauntered into the crowd and found ourselves in a “Friendship Circle”, where everyone joined hands and rotated in a clockwise direction to the cadence demanded by the drum beats. Next, the circle broke into two lines and the lines proceeded to pass one-another with each person shaking hands with the person across from him. Nice way to interact with everyone.
Following that, an Elder, Gilbert Towner, 79 years of age, from Idaho, called everyone to an “Elder-Speak” gathering, Mr. Towner, known as “Enselsun”, and 84-year old Aggie Pilgrim spoke to the respectful group about loving one another and respecting our rivers and streams, among other uplifting subjects.
Aggie Pilgrim told of her world travels with 12 other grandmothers from various countries. This group of 13 grandmothers has spoken worldwide, even to the Pope, about respecting our rivers and streams and not turning them into garbage dumps.
Next, the Wild Salmon, which was cooked on sticks by the fire in the hole the men had dug, was served together with fry bread. We had eaten lunch shortly before the salmon was served, so we took our fish home for dinner. It was delicious. This was a great day for myself and my wife, Sandra, to enjoy these gentle people and to experience their history and customs.