Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spokane House

A few days ago, I posted my visit to Spokane House, and a friend commented about a birch bark canoe on display in the visitor's center. Unfortunately, I missed seeing it. I arrived just as the museum was closing and rushed through the exhibits without seeing everything. I wanted to see the canoe for myself, so I went back. 

As Rhonda and I walked along the river, we found wild onions growing on the shore. 

Wild onion...

Roots and all...

The namesake fish for that area is the snxʷmeneʔ, the steelhead.

...and here is the canoe, hanging from the ceiling. 
It really was quite impressive. 

The sign below read in English: 
"Textures of everyday life."

The Salish said:
"axlʔa (sqł) snk'ʷul'mn,"
however, I think the word is misspelled. 
If the word is meant to say 'everyday'
then it should read 'axlasq't' with a 't'.

The inside of the canoe was beautiful. 

Examples of fish that once thrived here. 

Beauty and the Beast


This weekend, my three children are finishing their performance of Beauty and the Beast with CYT Spokane. This has been a wonderful opportunity for them to develop their talents, make new friends, and perform with their cousins Ethan and London. Sadly, this is Dakota's last show with CYT.  

Whitney and London as townspeople. 

Ethan as Gaston's sidekick LeFou.

Dakota as Lumiere.

The beast.

LeFou and Gaston.

McKenna and Whitney as townspeople. 


River Hike

The Spokane area has beautiful hiking trails, and some natural areas are hidden in the heart of the city. Yesterday afternoon, I hiked a trail along the Spokane River, starting near TJ Meenach Bridge. Natural springs flow from the hillside and a combination of native and naturalized plants are in flow bloom. 

The scenery is beautiful, but you might consider hiking this trail with a friend. 

The water level is high. 

The trail follows the river for several miles. 

White roses growing wild near the trail. 

White roses. 

The roots of a tree are exposed by flowing water. 

Wild flowers (weeds?)

The trees lean away from the hillside. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Iva's Birthplace

My auntie Iva visited her birthplace at the old Moses home site above Hillyard, WA. Here she told the story of her memories. 

Monday, May 26, 2014


In 1944, my auntie Iva was born in a cabin on Little Baldy, a grassy hilltop located about a mile east of Hillyard, Washington. Today I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany my aunt, along with many of my cousins, to visit her birthplace. During our visit this afternoon, we were blessed to hear her speak about her memories of that place. 

Iva's parents, grandparents, and about a dozen other Indian families all lived together in a transitional community, situated somewhere between the traditional lifestyle of the past and the modern world. Some of the families lived in cabins made of discarded railroad ties, while most lived in canvas tents. The majority of the people worked in the orchards during the day, and then returned to the camp in the evening. They spoke Salish and practiced the spirituality of their ancestors. Essentially, it was an Indian camp that functioned well into the 1950s; although, I'm not sure if the community has acknowledged its importance within local history.

This afternoon, we took a video of Iva sharing her life story. We hope to gather other oral histories. If anyone remembers visiting this site, I encourage you to send me an email. I would love to add your story to our history.  

During our visit, our nephew pushed Iva in her wheelchair up the hill. 

Despite the difficulty, Iva was determined to visit the actual home site, even if she had to walk across the uneven ground. 

Cousins, nieces, and nephews all helped. 

Auntie Iva holding an old pot. 

A grove of trees at the base of the hill. 

On old well located on the property. 

Family members discovered old trinkets
left behind more than a generation ago.

Death camas is growing in a meadow
a few hundred yards below the cabin site. 

Yarrow grows on the hill

The cabin site looking east. 

Iva remembered this rock from her childhood. 

Iva also remembered that her mother and her aunts used to collect fruit from trees growing on the home site. This tree still has on old wooden step ladder leaned against the trunk. 

Arrowleaf balsamroot withers on the hillside. 

An old bed spring at the cabin. 

Broken glass from the home site. 

Wood from the old cabin.


The sunset this evening above Spokane. 


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