Reprinted from the Monday, October 28, 1991 issue of the Yellowhead Star.
Members and guests of the North Thompson Indian Band (NTIB) gathered Sunday, October 20, 1991 at Dunn Lake Bible Camp to revive traditional Shuswap salmon fishing practices.
Under the tutelage of Louie Matthew and other Chu Chu elders, the young band members “tried to spear the fish” in the traditional way, then cooked the fish around a fire. The fish that remained at the end of the meal was saved to be shared with the other elders of the band.
The day’s events began around 10 a.m., with NTIB Chief Nathan Matthew leading the gathering in a discussion of traditional Aboriginal fishing and the revival of Aboriginal right to fish.
“We wanted to do this little thing, to show the kids what was happening before,” an adult member of the group explained later.
Band members and guests, including Kamloops-North Thompson MPP Fred Jackson, also toured the NTIB-operated Dunn Lake Salmon Hatchery and nearby lake pens currently holding approximately 45,000 fry. of coho that will be released next May.
Group members said they hope to repeat the day’s activities on a larger scale next year and make the event an annual outing.
Band members also thanked Dunn Lake Bible Camp supervisor Lloyd Strickland for giving them permission to use the facilities for the day, and said they hoped all attendees “pulled something of the day’s events and would return next year for a “bigger and better”. ” traditional fishing experience.
Since this article was printed in 1991, the North Thompson Indian Band has become Simpcw (People of the Rivers) First Nation, and Dunn Lake Salmon Hatchery (established in 1983) has become Dunn’s Hatchery Creek, remaining under the management of Simpcw. .
Each year, from mid to late October, the hatchery continues to welcome visitors from Barriere and Clearwater Schools. This is one of the oldest traditions within the Simpcw community, with the hatchery hosting a ‘home-cooked’ lunch and showcasing the hatchery with various activities and exhibits.
Simpcw also hosts an annual First Fish Ceremony, held at the Raft River Viewing Platform in Clearwater; inviting guests to participate in several activities that showcase Simpcw culture and history, including pit cooking, sockeye salmon viewing, storytelling, and a traditional game called Lehal.
To learn more about the Simpcw First Nation, visit: https://www.simpcw.com/
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First NationsNorth Thompson Valley