April 22, 2020

Dear friends and allies,

We hope that you find yourself safe and healthy as you read this. The times that have come upon us are causing great changes in our entire world. All of the living things on Mother Earth are feeling the impacts of what is happening and we want to warmly extend our prayers and good thoughts to you in these times.

We are thinking about our salmon and how they have always taught us that change is essential for survival. When the salmon leave their creeks and swim down to the ocean they know that they have to change completely in order to survive out in the ocean. As we approach the oceans of what the COVID-19 pandemic will be for our world, we know that we too must change to survive what is to come and create a new normal that will heal humanity.

Our prayer will continue this summer, however it will look different than it has in
previous years as we anticipate that the safety measures to prevent the spread of
COVID-19 will continue for many weeks to come. As COVID-19 presents new challenges in
our daily lives and social distancing measures remain in place, we want to inform you that our Run4Salmon prayer will also abide by the state of California’s safety measures recommended to the general public in attempts to decrease the spread of the virus.

We want to extend a special thanks to those of you who have been blessed with strength and a good heart to respond to the call for action. Special thanks to the people who work in the medical field, to our traditional healers, to our school teachers, to our farmers and farmworkers who continue working and to all of those who have essential duties that make it possible for us to carry on.

We want to take a moment to extend our prayers for

All the people who have lost their lives and the families whose hearts are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Indigenous communities who are more vulnerable to the virus due to the ongoing effects of settler colonialism and white supremacy.

The lands, waters and animals who’ve become more susceptible due to the lack of regulation and protection.

Those who in these times are more susceptible to the virus.

All the people who have lost their jobs and are facing financial challenges.

Our elders and folks who don’t have health insurance or support in these times.

Our houseless relatives who aren’t able to shelter in place, and those who are threatened with loss of housing due to loss of income.

Prisoners, who are especially susceptible to becoming ill.

Our migrants in detention centers, especially the mothers and children who are in refugee camps with little to no access to water and proper sanitation.

We are praying for our disabled peoples to whom this world has become less accessible.

Our relatives who have autoimmune and pre-existing conditions that put them at higher risk. For all the folks who are alone or feel alone in these times.

For all those who are far away from their families and loved ones.

We are sending our prayers to all those who we haven’t named who are experiencing this pandemic in ways that we may not understand or be aware of. We are lifting any prayer you have in your heart in this time as we extend our deepest solidarity to you in this moment.

We are grateful that our eyes have been reopened to the power we have as people. Our hearts are filled with hope to see how this pandemic has reminded us about how capable we are of supporting one another. We are grateful for the ways in which this pandemic has shown us the flaws of our healthcare system. These times have also shown us how inadequate leadership of this country is and continues to be. We are learning that the only way we will
make it out of any crisis will be through unity, collaboration and perseverance of everyday people.

We are no strangers to hard times. During the wildfires when our homes and forests were burning, we saw that our salmon were able to rest and spawn because the smoke in the air had lowered the temperature of the waters. While humans have slowed down, the waters and skies have become clearer. It is possible for good things to come from this moment. There’s a quietness about it that tells us that when we rest, the whole world is able to restore. We are seeing that for Mother Earth to restore, we as humans need to change the way we live.

We are listening to Mother Earth and she is telling us that we have to change like the salmon. We hope that once our time in the ocean is over, that we will be able to return upstream to our homes full of wisdom and strength ready to bring a new world to life.

We are hopeful that with good prayers and faith in our hearts we will make it through these difficult times together.


We believe in the good things that are coming,

Chief Caleen Sisk and the Run4Salmon Community