Salmon bake returns Friday alongside 44th annual Klatowa Ina competition


Jonathan Calderon

Food being served during the annual Salmon Bake hosted by the Ina Haws Cultural Center in 2019.

Sydni Zidarevich, Justice, Equity and Diversity Beat Reporter

The Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws cultural center is celebrating the spring salmon run with a salmon bake on May 19, which will be followed by the 44th annual Klatowa Ina Competition Pow-Wow on May 20.

The salmon bake will be residing at the Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws center from 12 – 3 p.m. and will include salmon and drinks, as well as side dishes. It is free and will be open to the public.

Salmon is a large part of Native American culture in the Pacific Northwest, as tribes have relied on salmon for thousands of years according to the official website of the state of Oregon. 

During the spring, salmon leave their freshwater spawning and go to the ocean and spend their adult lives, before returning to the freshwater habitat of their origin to spawn and later die. According to Northwest Power and Conservation Council, in the Columbia River Indian tribes’ religious beliefs, salmon were a gift from the benevolent salmon king. 

They believed that salmon were immortal and that they took on a human form in the ocean, and that the salmon king would order the people to clothe themselves in fish skins to go up the river as a present to the native and indigenous tribes. To honor the gift of the salmon king, native tribes treated the annual arrival of the salmon with tremendous respect and celebration.

To this day, salmon remains a respected source of cultural identity and food for Columbia River tribes.

The annual Klatowa Ina Competition is presented by the Native American Student Association and Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs. Like the salmon bake, the event is a free community event that will take place at Gill Coliseum with grand entry at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; doors will open at noon. 

The pow-wow will feature Indigenous dancers, singers, a marketplace and will present the 2023 Klatowa Ina Royalty.

Klatowa Ina Royalty is an Oregon State University student that has applied and accepted the position intended to serve as an ambassador at cultural events and pow-wows to represent the OSU Native and Indigenous community. 

The royalty program is sponsored by the Native American Student Association and the Office of Institutional Diversity in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs and is working as an effort to support relations between the Native and Indigenous OSU community and the Tribal nations and Indigenous communities that surround the Corvallis campus.

The pow-wow will include a number of competitions held throughout the duration of the event such as Jingle, Grassdance, Women’s Fancy, Men’s Fancy, Women’s Traditional and Men’s Traditional. For each of these competitions, first through third place will be presented; with third place receiving a prize of $500, second place receiving $750 and first place winning $1000.

The pow-wow line-up will go as follows:

  • MC: Nick Sixkiller
  • Arena Director: Anthony Bluehorse
  • Head Woman Dancer: Linda Meanus
  • Head Man Dancer: Monty Herron
  • Grand Ronde Honor Guard
  • Host Drum: Black Lodge
  • Honor Drum: Star Horse

More information for the salmon bake is available on the OSU website, while more information regarding the pow-wow, is available here.

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