“Nez Perce tribal elders believe that one of the greatest tragedies of this century is the loss of traditional fishing sites and chinook salmon runs on the Columbia River and its tributaries. They believe the circle of life has been broken and ask us to consider what the consequences of breaking that circle may mean for future generations. In many ways the loss of the salmon mirrors the plight of the Nez Perce people. The elders remind us that the fates of humans and salmon are linked.
“Historically, the Nez Perce Tribe depended upon fish as a major food source. Of all the fishes, however, none was more utilized by the Nez Perce than the chinook salmon. Other fish were harvested — suckers, lampreys, whitefish, steelhead, chiselmouth trout, shiners — but no other species compared with the chinook. Times of the year were measured by the chinook’s lifecycle. Families gathered at traditional fishing sites on the Columbia and its tributaries to await its miraculous return. The religion of the Nez Perce — the stories, legends, and ceremonies regarding the fish and rivers — reflects this bond.
“Many books have been written about the Columbia River System. This book concentrates on the Columbia River as a life source for the region’s tribes and as the most important river in the Pacific Northwest for salmon and steelhead migration. The Nez Perce Tribe is hopeful that this book will educate and inform people about the importance of maintaining and protecting the Columbia River Basin System by emphasizing the significance of fish and fishing in Nez Perce culture and by showing the diversity of fishes that reside in these waters. The Columbia River and its salmon people are legacies that should not die with us, but continue for the spiritual and physical benefits they can provide for all time.” — from the introduction
The dust jacket has a piece missing along the top edge on the back (from the slipcase use). Book is as new; Signed by the two authors and the illustrator on the colophon page. Number 207 of first hardback edition limited to 600 copies. Has slipcase of which there were only 100 copies which were to be given away as gifts to friends of the Nez Perce Tribe and to celebrate the annual return of wild salmon to Pacific NW waters in the spring of 1990. Has blue linen boards, matching the slipcase, with gilt lettering on spine. A Nez Perce Nature Guide; 8.43 X 5.85 X 0.73 inches; 249 pages; Signed by Author & Illustrator.