The humpback salmon or HENEN were the most plentiful of all the salmon and came by the thousands. You could look across the bay or the straits and there were so many jumping at the same time, it looked like they were suspended in mid-air. If you stopped in your canoe and looked down, you would see great schools of salmon, thousands and thousands passing beneath you. The people fished them the same way they fished for sockeye with their reef nets or SXOLE. Sometimes the women helped to fish if there was a shortage of men available.
It would take six men to fish with a reef net. The people would only be out a few minutes and the forty foot long, six foot wide canoes would be filled and head back to shore. The women would be waiting with their knives to clean the salmon and hang them over the fire or in the sun and wind to dry. When completely dry, the fish were packed into bales to transport home for the winter.
Also at this time of year, the people would go hunting seals to vary their diet. To catch the seals, they would make the same noises the seals made to attract and harpoon them.
The people also ate whales. In the old days, Saanich Inlet had a great many whales. It was like a nursery where the females came in to have their young and stayed there because of the shelter and abundance of food.
This was what the people did during the CENHENEN Moon.
From 'the book 'The Saanich Years'
In the book, The Saanich Year, Earle Claxton, Sr. and John Elliott tell the story of SḴÁU ȽTE, the 13 moons, and how they illustrate traditional First Nations respect for the land and the interconnectedness of all living things.
To find a copy of The Saanich Year, contact the WSANEC Leadership Council, https://wsanec.com/, or the WSANEC school board, https://wsanecschoolboard.ca/. The VNFC Bruce Parisian Library in Victoria also holds a copy available for borrowing.