Submitted by the Native Village of Eyak

Photos and caption courtesy of Danaya Hoover, Cultural Director for the Native Village of Eyak

First Fish Dinner hosted by the Native Village of Eyak (NVE) is annual event tribal members look forward to every year for over 20 years. Come May, mouths start to water at the thought of the first bite of delicious, fresh-caught King Salmon. NVE is able to access the fishing grounds May 1 to 12 in part of an Educational Fisheries permit. Fish caught with the permit are used to help educate our children on the steps of catching, processing, and consuming. NVE partnered this year with the High School Native Arts class to demonstrate utilizing all parts of the fish. Natalie Webb, the Traditional Foods Harvest Coordinator, showed them how to brine and smoke the backbone, followed by a lesson in jarring and pressure cooking. The fishermen this year were Jason Platt, Robert Cunningham Jr, and Jason Davis, who brought two tribal member youth with him to fish. It is so important to share the knowledge we have with the upcoming generations, that they too will pass it on, and so on. Dinner was held on May 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Masonic. This event is made amazing with lots of help from volunteer fish cooks, side dishes, and desserts. Leona Olsen said a beautiful prayer to start the evening off, and Elders were invited to be first in line. There was King Salmon, fresh halibut, fish head soup, fish pie, kelp salad, fry bread, and many more fabulous feast dishes.  We finished off with an array of desserts, including two Diane Hawley Cakes, cheesecakes, and cookies. Danaya Hoover, Cultural Director for NVE, would like to thank everyone who helped fish, cook, set up, and clean up: “It was so nice to gather again and share a delicious meal together.”