California Tribe’s annual Run4Salmon goes from 300-mile prayer journey to virtual due to COVID-19

  • Published on July 19th, 2020

Starting this week, the annual Run4Salmon Prayer Journey of 300 miles goes virtual for 2020 due to COVID-19.  Adapting, instead of canceling the annual event, this year’s Run4Salmon offers online participation.

Annual Run4Salmon 300-Mile Prayer Journey Goes Virtual for 2020 due to COVID-19

By Dan Bacher

According to a press release from the Winnemem Wintu Tribe:

“For the past four years, Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk and a collective of Indigenous women, activists, and allies have carried-out the 300-mile prayer journey between the

Winnemem Wintu salmon restoration Water is Sacred
Photo by Winnemem Wintu Tribe

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Winnemem (McCloud River), following the historical path that the Chinook salmon took before the Shasta Dam was built in 1945.  Run4Salmon raises awareness about the devastation of the Winnemem Wintu and the extinction of salmon caused by the Shasta Dam, and about the current policies that threaten the waters, fish, and Indigenous ways of life.  Starting this year, and for the next four years, the Run4Salmon Prayer Journey goes downstream, from Mount Shasta to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.

This year, the Run4Salmon is COVID-safe, as a core-group of participants are broadcasting live online, and relaying the event using Facebook, Instagram, and Zoom.  The public is invited to participate in various ways from their own communities, including identifying their local waterway and laying-down prayers there, as well as taking part in online events, including Film Screenings and Educational ‘Mini-Lessons’ and Curriculum.”

Follow Run4Salmon on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and find more information at

The Run4Salmon 2020 Schedule is as follows:

— July 17-24:  Ceremony—Watch for live feeds on Facebook and Instagram

— July 24: Film Screening & Conversation — The short film, “One Word: Sawalmem” will be presented online followed by a conversation with co-director Pom Tuiimyali and Chief Caleen Sisk

— July 25: Educational Event — Presentation of Run4Salmon online curriculum, featuring activities for kids and songs for the salmon and the waters.

— July 27: Live feed — Prayer by the water in Mechoopda territory along the Sacramento River.

— July 29 & 30: “Dancing Salmon Home” documentary film and Standing on Sacred Ground documentary film will both be available to watch online for free

— July 31: Panel discussion event: Wild Chinook Salmon Return — Chief Caleen Sisk and others report on the efforts to bring the salmon home from New Zealand, and the federally supercharged push to raise the Shasta Dam.

— August 1 & 2: Live Feeds — Completion Prayers by the Water in Ohlone territory
Phone & online interviews about Run4Salmon are available & encouraged.  Contact or to route your interview request to the direct contact.
Links &


About the Author

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento who focuses on California's water issues, a healthy environment for the salmon fishery of the Northwest, and the attempts by big agriculture and big oil to hog all the water.

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