Ancient warnings have come to pass

by Peter Twitchell

I saw a newscast just the other day on KTUU Channel 2 Anchorage where my relative Mr. Michael Williams of Akiak testified that he had caught two (2) Chum Salmon last summer for his families winter feed.

In recent years we’ve all heard salmon which was considered by-catch by the deep-sea fisherman were being dumped back into the ocean because it wasn’t the fish they were after.

This kind of wanton waste of Alaska’s fish was forbidden by our ancestors. Our ancients believe that Creator God gave us fish and it was considered sacred by the Natives of Alaska.

The ancients, our ancestors, instructed us younger men and women and children that there would be consequences for stepping on our natural foods and wasting it. This sacred belief wouldn’t have consequences if we followed it.

People wonder where all the fish that used to migrate into the Kuskokwim and the Yukon rivers are?

We also heard several years ago that our Alaskan waters are polluted and acidic. For years and years our fisherman have seen sores on the flesh of fish they’ve harvested.

The ancients warned us centuries ago of the dire consequences that could befall the gifts from Creator God if we failed to follow through.

On the news just two days ago a fisherman from the Aleutians stated that Natives who didn’t fill their smokehouses and freezers with salmon should try to find a source of our depleted fish stock instead of walking out of their meetings.

I couldn’t believe it.

We either “stand together as fisherman and natives of Alaska or fail” and we all know as a divided people we are failing and our families and children are going hungry for their native foods, like salmon.

As I write this, the Natives of our villages desire smoked, salted and dried fish.

I didn’t fish last summer and I miss having fresh salmon because so-called “Atlantic silver salmon” sold in grocery stores is far from the delicacy of Alaskan salmon. The warning from the ancients and our ancestors of centuries ago has come to pass.

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