About a hundred years-ago salmon were introduced to Canterbury from North America – to be exact they came from McCloud River in northern California – which has seen hard times lately due to damming, and now has low stocks of these fish.
Resultantly and not unsurprisingly, the native-American tribe from that area would like to see the descendents of the original quinnat-salmon back in the McCloud River.
A two-dozen strong delegation from The Winnemem Wintu tribe in California have just spent two weeks in Christchurch, four days and nights of which involved singing & dancing by the Rakaia River.
These ceremonies were an attempt to “re-establish the tribes relationship” with the fish.
Yes, members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe actually believe that their ceremony would re-home the stocks of N.Z salmon and they would ignore their genetic-programs & miraculously begin the 6,000 mile ocean-swim to California!
However well-intentioned this trip was it is clear to anyone with half-a-brain-cell the whole “spiritual journey” thing was always going to be a waste of time & money - some-thing to laugh about at the pub over a jug of beer.
But because of political correctness and the free-ride superstations of all kinds get in the local media – no one had the guts to starkly tell these folk “you are wasting your time.”
Instead we had to put-up with television reports which made the whole Red-Indian charade look like an episode from a nature-channel hosted by David Attenborough.
Local Fish & Game officers put aside common-sense and made fools of themselves by acting as guides.
Not one reporter in the media bothered to ask a fisheries biologist “what are the chances were of an entire population of salmon re-inventing enmasse their inbuilt migratory mechanisms instructing them to find their home ‘birth’ stream?” – because they knew damn well the unpalatable answer before asking.
Amongst this sycophantic reporting I was half expecting something like “I suppose you’ll call home using smoke-signals to save on tolls?”
No-one in this PC malaised-country openly had the guts to state out-loud the bleeding obvious “the emperor has no clothes” least they up-set the tribes right to act like superstitious bumpkins in the face of reality even a 10 year-old could see for what it is.
Footnote: In a concession to the 21st century it appears during their time-here the tribe hedged-their-bets by also investigating about exporting the eggs back home as well.