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Salmon Tale: Double-Duty for Salmon Conservation
Monday, 27 July 2015

"Salmon Tale" is an image created by Haida Artist April White. The image is the first First Nations image ever to win the honour of being displayed on the Salmon Conservation Stamp, a fishing decal required to retain Pacific salmon species caught in BC saltwater. The image is inspired by a First Nations story of conservation, which is only fitting because it does double-duty in raising funds for community-based salmon conservation projects in British Columbia. Not only does the Pacific Salmon Foundation's community granting program raise the bulk of its funds through proceeds from the Salmon Conservation Stamp, but it also sells the winning image as prints through its online store. This year a unique serigraphy process was used to create each print.

Video: April White uses the serigraphy process to create each print at her Wind Spirit Printmakers studio

‘Salmon Tale’ was produced by means of serigraphy on the finest acid free 100% rag paper. The two colours in this serigraph represent a different screen through which the inks have been squeegeed sequentially to form this finished fine art graphic. Each print is hand-registered and hand-pulled in April White’s studio—Wind Spirit Printmakers. This limited edition original print is then signed and numbered by the artist. Print can be ordered through the Pacific Salmon Foundation's online store. 

"Salmon Tale" inspired by a Raven’s Tale
‘Salmon Tale’ is a formline painting, in the red and black colours of the Haida ancestral tradition. It tells of how Raven came to bring salmon to human beings and why they continue to spawn in coastal streams and rivers. In the story, Raven captures the son of the salmon chief to present to the daughter of the village chief. Raven advises the Shaman, ‘Many salmon will try to rescue this young salmon. You must weave a huge net to catch all the fish.’ Which they did, but out of respect spared many. These fish swam off to continue their futile search of the forest streams. While searching and grieving, they spawned in the shallows beneath the sheltering arms of a cedar tree.

In the tale, the salmon persist in their search year after year, and the people are thankful for their return. But the underlying message is one of  the importance of conservation. If they only catch what they need to feed the village then the rest are left to ensure the cycle of life continues. In its essence, we must respect mother earth and all beings—in this instance the salmon people and the waters they call home—the rivers that flow from the land to the undersea world.

Stamp Supports Salmon Conservation

Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society Salmon Conservation

The message is fitting for the conservation-inspired decal—created through a partnership with the founders of the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the federal government as a way to connect anglers to the support of salmon restoration and enhancement. Currently all proceeds from the $6 dollar stamp are returned to British Columbia through the Foundation, generating about $1 million for community grants annually.So far, this year, stamp funds helped provide $1.24 million in grants to 118 projects in more than 70 communities across British Columbia. The total value of the projects including volunteer time and community fundraising is more than $13.2 million. The Foundation will conduct a second granting round in the fall.