By Joanna Bastian
The Fifth Annual Salmon Bake and Cultural Celebration is happening on Saturday, June 23, along the banks of the Columbia River at Pateros Memorial Park. Music, art, games and savory food all benefit the Pateros-Brewster Community Resource Center (www.paterosresource.com), a valuable connection to health and human services.
Randy Lewis and friends will fire up the salmon bake oven and grill up fresh fillets provided by Copper River. Food will be served from noon-6 p.m. and dinners include southwestern corn, green salad, and soft delicious rolls from Sweet River Bakery.
Renowned canoeist and activist Patty Sam Porter will bring a dugout cedar canoe from Nespelem. An experienced craftswoman and athlete, Patty can share the details of creating a canoe and how teams handle it on the water. In recent years, the rowing team has been on multiple outreach journeys to educate communities about our connection to water today, and historical uses of waterways.
The expert weavers from Okanogan Basket Weavers will display traditional baskets, hats and pouches, intricately woven with native grasses and roots. The weavers will demonstrate techniques, materials and symbolism in traditional patterns.
Arnold Cleveland — Native singer, songwriter and musician — will provide musical entertainment for the event. In between sets, Arnold will hold flute demonstrations with his collection of Native American hand-carved flutes.
Linda Saint, textile artist, will have a craft table for kids to create beaded crafts. Linda’s own intricate beadwork and traditional regalia will be on display.
Artist Cheryl Grunlose will display her stunning ledger art. Cheryl’s work is currently featured at the “Coyote Winked” show at the Confluence Gallery. Drawing upon her family’s collection of traditional regalia, and her graphic design training, Cheryl creates stunning tableaus on early 1900s printed records.
Past events have included an archaeology booth from the University of Washington and representatives from the Language Preservation Office offering lessons for the many different languages spoken by the different regional tribes.
The annual Salmon Bake and Cultural celebration began five smoky summers ago, when the town was nearly destroyed by wildfire that also canceled the annual Apple Pie Jamboree, a community fund raising event for youth programs. Mark Miller brainstormed with friends and family members to plan an event that summer that could still raise funds for youth programs, which were desperately needed that year more than ever. The idea of a Salmon Bake and Cultural Celebration quickly came together with the generous help of community-minded volunteers from around the region.
During the recovery period after the wildfires, Mark, along with Grace and Jim Larsen, founded the Pateros-Brewster Community Resource Center (PBCRC) to connect Pateros and Brewster residents with critical resources. The PBCRC works with local schools, fire departments and city chambers to identify needs and provide resources to support a healthy community. Anyone can walk in and ask for assistance at the offices located on the main strip in Pateros. PBCRC offers aid with housing, home maintenance, non-emergency medical transport, counseling, legal assistance, and assistance in finding insurance coverage. PBCRC is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible.
The Salmon Bake and Cultural Celebration has continued to be a fundraising event for the PBCRC, and an opportunity for everyone to celebrate and learn about the traditions, culture, and history of the First People.