Indigenous artists’ large-scale driftwood art celebrates salmon

A salmon made of driftwood is seen on the grey bank of a river.
A 100 foot salmon made of driftwood on the bank of the Skeena river. Photo courtesy of Alex Stoney.
Pamela Haasen - - SmithersBC | 21-07-2021

A one hundred foot salmon was spotted on the banks of Anderson Flats in Northern British Columbia. Of course, it was made of driftwood and rocks, but it's still quite the sight!

Anderson Flats is a provincial park located at the confluence of two very important rivers in British Columbia: the Skeena and the Bulkley Rivers. The land is part of the Gitxsan territory of Northern BC, and the piece can be viewed from the Gitanmaax village across the river.

Gitxsan artists Michelle and Alex Stoney called on the community to help build their Salmon River Art Project, their most impressive driftwood art project to date.

This is the third driftwood river piece the couple have created together in Northern BC. This piece is to celebrate their culture and the role that salmon plays as a resource and as an important part of the community.

"We figured this piece will take about three days", Michelle Stoney told CICK. In reality, the piece was finished in two days because of the community support and turnout.

"This is a community affair (building this driftwood salmon)", because, well, COVID restrictions are lifting and if people are comfortable coming out, they're welcome to", said Alex Stoney about bringing community together to create this piece.

This piece was made in partnership with the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition in effort to raise awareness of the diminishing salmon stocks in the region.

Listen to CICK's interview with the artists below for the full story.