First Nation Student Union hosts Salmon Bake
The smell of freshly baked salmon and fry bread filled the Central Oregon Community College athletic field last Saturday. The First Nations Student Union Club and COCC’s Native American Program hosted the annual Salmon Bake. The Salmon Bake featured a free lunch, traditional music, dancing and a silent auction.
“Come here to be a part of a community,” said Jeremiah Rector from the Diné tribe of the Navajo Nation, the Native American Program Coordinator and head of the FNSU Club.
The Salmon Bake raises scholarship money for the FNSU scholarship program and awareness for Native American Students at COCC. There are six students in the FNSU Club, but the club hopes more will join.
The Salmon Bake started at COCC more than 20 years ago. Mackie Bagey, from the Warm Springs Tribe, was the spokesperson at the event and was dancer in previous years of the Salmon Bake.
“Salmon is a sacred food in The Warm Springs Tribe and only designated salmon catchers are allowed to catch and prepare the salmon,” said Bagey.
The salmon is prepared on an open fire and skewered onto sticks surrounding the fire, the salmon was prepared by Margie Tuckta of the Warm Springs Tribe. To prepare the salmon, Margie Tuckta of the Warm Springs Tribe skewered the fish on sticks surrounding an open fire. As Tuckta prepared the salmon, a line of hungry spectators watched and repeatedly gave thanks to the Tuckta preparing the food.
“Beliefs are culture, tradition and family. It is important to share and educate our beliefs with the people,” said Bagey.
From the powwow drumming to dancers in their traditional regalia, the Salmon Bake was a success. “Special thanks to ODI offices, Sodexo and Campus Services for helping the event happen,” said Rector.
For more information on the FNSU Club and COCC’s Native American Program contact Jeremiah Rector at email@example.com.