While commercial fishermen were on the water anxiously awaiting the next herring opening in Sitka, some residents gathered on land for a traditional Tlingit ceremony. The Blessing of Herring Rock happens every year to get the fish to come back to the Sound to spawn.

For centuries, the Kiks.adi clan has honored the beginning of herring season in the spring by blessing Herring Rock, which originally stood on the waterfront of the Indian Village. It was at this rock where herring traditionally began their spawn. Nels Lawson is a Tlingit elder.

“This time of year was very significant to our people because with the arrival of the herring on our shores, meant the arrival of new food, new food for our homes,” Lawson said.

In that respect, little has changed. The small group of residents and tribal citizens are waiting for the fish to spawn to collect their tasty eggs.

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