Diggings logo

WSU/Pend Oreille Extension introduced the Sense of Place series in 1999, with a focus on place-based stewardship education. Since 2001, a partnership with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department (KNRD) has supported this newsletter and allowed us to expand class offerings through EPA funding. Further staff support comes through Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA). Our newest partner, sponsor of the Rain Garden Challenge, is the Pend Oreille Conservation District. Many thanks to our partners and to you, our readers, for your continued enthusiasm for "digging" into the natural history and culture ofthis part of the world.

A Conversation about Fish

by Francis Cullooyah, Kalispel Tribe Cultural Department

“The fish were here long before the people were. They were always a big part of our food. When I was young, there were twelve or so of us kids who roamed around together. We would terrorize my grandmother’s garden, and when she chased us off, we went fishing in one of the creeks--Cee Cee Ah, Skookum, sometimes across to Tacoma... We never left garbage behind like people do now. There wasn’t such a thing back then anyway. We packed in a line, hook, and sinker, and then cut a stick for a pole when we got there. There were brook trout, but they were small, so we didn’t bother with them. Our main food was the cutthroat. Sometimes we’d cook them right there, but often we took them back to our elders. Then there started being less fish in the creeks. Maybe it was us who fished them out...or maybe it was all the other changes that were happening then. So after that we only fished from the river. We ate all the fish, even the non-game fish like suckers. There was always someone who welcomed whatever fish we caught.”

<----previous article...Diggings Fall 2007...next article---->