If we could go back in time, and do it all over again, could we listen to the wisdom of the people of the land next time around?

Lois Fay Thevarge has just wrapped up another wonderful week-long take-over of the Wellness Almanac on instagram – take a stroll/scroll through her posts of vibes, poetry, meals, jokes, and gentle warnings that fall (and the season of pumpkin spice) is on its way… at https://www.instagram.com/thewellnessalmanac/

One post she shared celebrates her grandfather, Chief Edward Thevarge, of the Anderson Lake Band (now known as N’Quatqua Nation), with these words:

Chief Edward Thevarge, 74-year-old Anderson Lake Band member is called to the stand. He has fished at Bridge River for about sixty years, and the chief of his Band for many years. He testifies about Indian fishing laws: taking your turn on the rock, fishing for the Elders, how to treat the fish, how to bleed the fish “Don’t bleed fish in the water… because the salmon will swim away from the smell of blood. People won’t have a chance to catch fish from the shore and downstream.” How to help the fish (conservation): “Just take the male fish, let the female go by.”
When asked what the people do while waiting their turn to fish, he replies: “Well, we have story telling or singing. The pipe goes around once in a while. Sometimes it’s just dreamtime.”
Louise (surprised): Can you explain that?
Ed Thevarge: When there’s not many fish, we have dreamtime.
On the subject of education that takes place down at the river, he describes how the children learn various skills from the age of 6 or 7 on up to 12 when the boys learn to fish by sitting close to their father when he uses the dip net. He describes how a dip net works and how a female fish can be released from it, if the Elders think that the run is low.
In cross-examination, the prosecutor says that the Fisheries Officers tell him that there is no way that the sex of a salmon can be determined. Ed Thevarge explains reluctantly how female salmon are a different color then male salmon, a different shaped head, a different shaped body. The prosecutor then asks how the release of the females is conservation if the males are caught. Ed Thevarge explains that the eggs are deposited so close together in the spawning channel that a male fish can fertilize the eggs of as many as 10 females. The Fisheries Officers make notes.

📝 Commercial fishing, pollution, damage to the salmons habitat have depleted numbers so drastically that there have been years where we didn’t harvest. 

Grandfather / tśétśpa7

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