Journey Through Secwepemculew - Government and Land

Seasonal Rounds

Throughout the entire spring to late fall, Secwepemc spent their time traveling to and from resource-producing locations, and camping there for extended periods of time. During the time spent camping, large amounts of meat, fish, and plant foods were preserved for the winter, mainly by drying. Some of them were cached at the processing localities; portions of them were packed down the winter villages. (Ignace: 2000)

The traditional subsistence economy of the Secwepemc was characterized by the pursuit of migrating salmon along Fraser and Thompson Rivers and their tributaries, the hunting of mule deer and other ungulates along the forest edge and in the alpine and subalpine, and the controlled harvesting of wild food plants, including roots, greens, tree cambium, berries, fungi, and lichen, throughout their territory…In addition to those large scale recurring resources, the Secwepemc pursued, on a day-to-day basis, small game, a variety of river and lake fish and other edible food stuffs.

Ignace, Marrianne. PhD. Anthropological Expert Witness Report re: Regina v. Lebourdais et al. Regina v. Deneault et al. Rush Crane Guether. Oct. 2000

 


Sample of Seasonal Rounds: Resource Gathering of the Secwepemc

 

April, Pesllewten “snow melts”

White fish, suckers, eels, trout, Indian tea, mint, skunk cabbage, birch bark, balsamroot shoots, nodding onion, balsamroot roots, Indian celery leaves, fireweed shoots, False Solomon’s seal, lodgepole pine bark, mariposa lily, cottonwood, desert parsley roots, blackcap shoots, silverweed, water-parsnip.

May Pell7ell7e7llqten “root digging moon”

Dogtooth violet, sunflowers, avalanche lilies, bitter carrots, balsam root shoots, balsamroot roots, nodding onion, mariposa lily, bitterroot, rice roots, wild greens, cow parsnip stems, Indian celery leaves, spring beauty, fireweed, False Solomon’s seal, Lodgepole pine bark, black lichen, soapberries, Saskatoon, cottonwood, desert parsley roots, silverweed, water-parsnip, mariposa lily, blackcap, sap from jack pine tree, thimbleberry shoots, inner bark of ponderosa and lodge pole pine, rainbow trout, little red mouth fish, birch bark, ling fish.

June Pelltspentsk “mid summer”

Saskatoon, rock berries, wild strawberries, wild raspberries, wild cherries, soapberries, salmon berries, squaw currents, red huckleberries, soapberries, wild blackberries, wild gooseberries, and blueberries, cambium lodgepole pine, nodding onion, cow-parsnip stems, balsamroot roots, spring beauty, fireweed shoots, tiger lily, balsamroot shoots, kinnikinnick, black lichen, blackcap, thimbleberries, Oregon grape, mariposa lily, desert parsley roots, silverweed, water-parsnip, ponderosa pine seeds.

July Pelltqwelq’wel’t “everything ripens”

Most berries, saskatoons, chokecherries, huckleberries, hazelnuts, balsam root “seeds”, Douglas-fir sugar, tule, willow, cattails, spring beauty, avalanche lily, tiger lily, wild strawberries, black lichen, soapberries, swamp gooseberries, wild gooseberries, blackcaps, thimbleberries, black huckleberries, wild rose, Oregon grape, chokecherries, bitter cherries, ponderosa pine seeds, tall grasses for technology, deer, mountain sheep, kinnikinnick.

August Pellct’exel’cten “salmon run up stream”

Chokecherries, blue elderberries, high bush cranberries, black tree lichen, seeds of whitebark pine, mushrooms, balsamroot roots, black huckleberries, spring beauty, fireweed shoots, avalanche lilies, dwarf mountain blueberries, balsamroot shoots, kinnikinnick, black lichen, wild gooseberries, blackcaps, thimbleberries, wild rose, white pine seeds, chokecherries, wild rose, bittercherries.

September Pesqelqlelten “many salmon moon”

Deer, moose, caribou, elk, porcupine, squirrel, spring salmon, sockeye salmon, lingfish, rose hip tea, kinnikinnick, tiger lilies, wild rose, silverweed, cottonwood mushrooms.

October Pesllweltsten “fall begins”

Deer, moose, caribou, elk, porcupine, squirrel Kinnikinnick, lingfish

November Pellc7ell7u7llcwten “entering the winter home”

Deer, moose, caribou, elk, porcupine, squirrel, Ponderosa pine cones, whitefish.

December Pelltetetq’em “fall and winter merge”

Spent indoors living on stored foods.

January Pellkwet’min “remain at home”

Spent indoors living on stored foods.

February Pellctsipweten “with cache-pits”

Spent indoors living on stored foods.

March Pellsqepts “spring wind”

Balsamroot shoots, nodding onion, False Solomon’s seal, mariposa lily,

This work was taken from:

 “Environmental Units”. “Diana Alexander. A Complex Culture of the British Columbia Plateau Traditional Stl’atl’imx over Resource Use. Brian Hayden. UBC Press/Vancouver 1992. (p.63-73)

“A Reconstruction of Prehistoric Land Use in the Mid-Fraser River Area Based on Ethnographic Data.” Diana Alexander. A Complex Culture of the British Columbia Plateau Traditional Stl’atl’imx(accent over the a) Resource Use. Brian Hayden. UBC Press/Vancouver 1992. (p.165)

August, Amy & Adeline Willard. Secwepemc Cultural Education Society. Tape 054-1. Transcription.

Dick, Janice & Rhoda Little. “Indian Foods,” Elementary Schools in Chase, BC: Local Initiatives: Government of Canada. June 1973.

Secwepemc Cultural Education Society (Language Department). 1998 Secwepemc Stetex7em Xyenesqten.

Turner, Nancy J, Laurence C., Thompson, M. Terry Thompson, Annie Z. York. Thompson Ethnobotany: Knowledge and Usage of Plants by the Thompson Indians of British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum. 1990. (p.25-26)

 

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