MOST IMPORTANT LITTLE FISH
There are many foods that my Tsimshian ancestors and family members gathered through out every year, never thought I’d live to see the day that we weren’t fishing in our family, which is the same with most of my family and tribal people.
I wasn’t exposed to full time practices of the hunting and gathering as a child because my Tsimshian Father married my Norweigan Mother and settled in the town of Prince Rupert, We lived a few hours by boat away from where Dad was born, which was the village of Port Simpson, now Lax Kw’alaams.
Port Simpson was once called Fort Simpson back in the early 1800s when the first trading post was established on the northern coast.
It is now called Lax Kwalaams, place of wild roses.
I remember spending every summer and every weekend working on our commercial fish boats, preparing for all the different fishing seasons, like salmon, halibut and the herring.
I learned a lot about travelling the coastal waters of BC and we had wonderful times exploring and gathering foods for the winter and just feasting on the abundance of everything fresh from pristine coastal waters. We never thought of a shortage of anything but we knew about preservation and stocking up for the winter, mainly by freezing and jarring salmon, halibut and clams. A couple relatives smoked and dried just about everything, some of it I didn’t like, especially smoked black cod, herring and oolican.
I never paid much attention to what was left of the culture, there wasn’t much of it to be seen then except for a goat horn spoon and a long beak ashtray which both were very rustic and non traditional to our Tsimshian roots.
I remember salmon fishing while other kids had summer holidays. Sometimes I made really good money but that never really mattered to me, I would rather have been back home with my friends or drawing pictures.
In 1972 we moved south leaving the last of our native lifestyle behind, most of it anyways. It was a non impressionable lifestyle that was almost faded completely from our tribe.
Most of the northern family still fish and gather seaweed and shellfish. Since my Father died my older brother quit fishing too. I quit in 1979, by accident, and through my recovery time I was invited to attend a native art school in Hazelton, a small River side community 3 hours east of Prnce Rupert.
I remember salmon fishing in the summer and then herring fishing in February and long lining halibut in the month of May. Ive never been involved in any oolican harvesting or drying and smoking. It took me many years to acquire a taste for the grease, and was never a big fan of eating the little oily nutritious fish. Good way to be left alone after eating it.
Thaleichthys pacificus is a small fish of the smelt family (Osmeridae). Eulachon
are found only in the Pacific Northwest, from California to the Pribiloff Islands.
Granny said-There were some years, they were so plentiful that you could just go down and hand-fish them off the side of the river bank. Just walk down and grab them and put them in your bucket…there’d be a four foot black streak going up the side of the bank
(Anfinn Siwallace, Nuxalk Nation cited in Moody 2008).
I never did the EULACHON runs, I don’t even remember my dad doing it. Our family usually bought or traded it with the Nass River fisherman of the Nisga Nation.
It was pretty strong compared to the grease we get from the Knight Inlet area. Sometimes it was blended with seal oil, which made it smell stronger and it didn’t last as long unless you froze it.
There used to be big eulachon runs up the Skeena River, but not for quite a number of years. For over 3 generations my Tsimshian ancestors built and lived in cedar longhouses for their summer fishing life. Moving back out to the coast again after the salmon and eulachon (oolican) run was finished.
In the month of February (Hobiyee), the people worked together for the ooilcan harvest and sea-lion hunts. In the oolican season there is the first catch and the second catch. The first catch is usually to test and determine if the oolicans are ready for harvest. If they are too small in size, the people wait for the second run, leaving the first run to spawn and thrive.
The village smoke-houses have to be prepared also. The rafters and the oolican sticks have to be washed and cleaned, which they always were after each smoking session. Then, wood for smoking or curing is collected for the smoke-houses. Usually the preference for smoke-house wood is birch wood or cottonwood. While the people in the villages are doing their work of smoking oolicans and sea-lion meat, there are people at Grease camps located at Fishery Bay. It is here that they prepare the Oolican grease.
The preparation of oolican grease is a very strenuous and industrious job that can take up to six weeks to be prepared right.
Very few oolican are harvested traditionally anymore, mainly Knight inlet and up the Nass River are the last located in BC.
THIS EXERPT IS FROM A BC UNIVERSITY STUDY
1996), or a single species whose loss would impact
many others (Mills and Doak 1993). Examples incl
ude coral polyps that create an entire reef environment and sea otters (Enhydra lutris) that structure kelp forest communities (Estes
et al.1989). Eulachon are ecologically-important in th
at they deliver a large pulse of food and
nutrients in early spring when other food sources
are scarce or lacking, and may be critical to the
energetics of Steller’s sea lion
Eumetopias jubatus, (Sigler et al.2004). Willson and Halupka
(1995) consider anadromous smelts as a keystone species based on over forty predators that depend on them.
The arrival of eulachon in early spring when dried salmon and other food sources were low or exhausted made them critically important prior to European contact. Eulachon were called ‘starvation fish’ in Tsimshian, ‘salvation fish’ in Nisga’a and ‘Preservation’ fish in Nuxalk
I remember that we ate lots of dried, frozen and smoked fish and seaweed, cockles, clams, scallops and of course Dads favourite delicacy, the abalone, almost extinct in our northern waters because of piracy and disrespect to the future reproduction of the species.
An ecological keystone species is what really stands out as the most important staple of not only the northern West Coast Indians, but also every other living creature of the same territory.
Not much hope for the future of all our species in this threatened world, sadly. The controllers have no intention of wanting a certain amount of us to survive. The secret society of my Tsimshian ancestry has taught me a lot about what the controllers are doing and why they do it. Many will perish and get consumed by their worldly addictions and sensationalism of news, music and entertainment, while the most important things are vibrations that are non existent to them, the sheep and the goats.
Pray for unity and think for yourself, then your eyes will open.
Note:I wrote this a number of years ago, and have since seen the oolican fishery still declining, and continued recklessness by the government in the way it mishandles the fisheries, and everything else.
For sale or trade for vehicle valued at 19k 7×7′ Raven in flight
I have been designing tattoos for over 30 years now and have decided that it’s time for a career change. Yes I have started a Tattooing Apprenticeship to learn all the fine details of permanent body art.
I won’t be ready to hit the skin until August but until then we can discuss ideas and work on your Life Crest Story. What a creatively fun journey it shall be.
Text me for more info or to book some design time.
Finger Puppets have been used in the education system and in human development and therapy classes for many years now.
In 2018 I was approached by a company called Plush Toys located in Surrey B.C. about designing stuffed animals for the retail gift market.
I suggested designing finger puppets to go with my education books published by Strong Nations Publishers in Nanaimo B.C.
We now have a large collection of puppets that can be interacted with a canoe and a longhouse carry case.
All the collection have been well received at home and in the school class rooms across Canada and used for role playing, lesson teaching and complimenting the book collection that features the characters.
I will also be featuring them in my Story Journeys with my granddaughter Trinity on video download with a paid membership.
It’s always good to have a backup job, maybe even a useful trade that helps you survive through a challenging economy or job loss, could even be because of and accident or extended illness like I had for over five years.
I love my art career and all the various creative outlets I have, but of course neither are among the necessary needs in life, like income security. Now I’ve chosen to learn the fine permanent art of tattooing, which has intrigued me for many years.
Young people it’s wise to have some kind of trade in life, even if you hate it.
Or how hard it is to comprehend a manual labour job.
Based upon our economic history, we are headed for another big crash. It’s already affected my art career three times in since I started my Native art career in 1982.
Now I’m focusing a lot into my cultural drumming and tattoo design. Drumming up a new clientele that are interested in living a better life and healing through drum vibes and body art.
I’ve been dealing with shingles for over 3 months now. I thought it was going away a couple weeks ago, hoped anyways. Never had them before but I have been detoxing heavy metals from my body, right up into my skull, so I just figured the virus affects were the continued necessity to detox.
Then when the rashes on my lower spine spread into my left hip and started to burn itch then bubble I thought I had been bitten by a spider or a tick. But that carried on up my spine and into my brain. Causing higher screeching of my already existing tinnitus, in my left ear.-do some research on it, it will be a real ear opener.- and so many people have it and there is no cure, for serious tinnitus anyway.
Whole other lecture on that topic…so my brain went foggy and so did my eyesight and I was feeling faint all the time, and I got terrible insomnia. All from the chicken pox virus when I was 9 years old.
Main cause was a battered immune system and leaky gut, and too much hard work and play. I was having a great summer, then a move and workshop rebuild. Merry Xmas and a tough start to 2020. Add in some relationship stress and lots of time trying to sleep and trying to strengthen my immune system. Yes cloudy brain really didn’t help matters either. Lots that going around because of dirty EMFs.
Look it up please, I’m not that in love with typing, I’m an artist by passion and necessity from birth.
I’m all about researching almost everything that can ail or kill a human being, what else can you be doing when you can’t function and are bed ridden? So I now know how deadly heavy metal poisoning is, and is the main cause of cancers of all kinds, and that pesky little parasites love to build their homes in it, all throughout out our organs and bones, anywhere in your body.
I choose to take the costly natural path for most part, plus we have access to so much information on the internet, that you can almost eliminate doctors, if you want to work hard to understand the true healing capabilities of your brain, stomach and ultimately for whole body. Or you can pay for expensive pharmaceuticals.
So finally I realized that I had shingles, just after having some blood tests, zyto scans and iridology. Love all this new technology and not sitting in a doctor’s office to get another prescription.
I can’t sleep on my sides at the best of time, the rash goes from my lower spine out down my hip, burning and sharp pains. And a head that won’t shut off. Rest is all you want in your body and your head.
Sleeping pills weren’t working for for than a couple hours. Then I discovered UDream, and then they took it off the market. What a surprise hey? Because it worked better than sleeping pills, and it was all natural.
So I could go on whining about this latest health issue and I know heavy metal poisoning and other health issues are worse, so it’s important to be thankful for everything and everyday, because I know it could be worse.
Some who have got the vaccinations have still got the virus, so there is no guarantee you won’t get it, especially since you had the chiickpox virus that never left your body. And a vaccine is another mystery substance that big pharma has created with substances that are for more questionable than the mystery substance they say is in UDream.
Most importantly keep your immune system strong and be super respectful to your gut and brain. Less booze, stress and if you’re over 50 take a good digestive enzyme with every meal, especially with lunch and dinner.
Lots of water, add lemon and ginger in the morning especially, and start the day with a great full meal raw smoothie, like may daughter Reanna taught me. A Cabral shake I think she calls it.
Try to rest, it’s usually all you feel like doing anyway but really macho people? Take a break and rest it out, hopefully it’s through the winter. It sucks more to have rashes and brain fog in the heat of summer.
Oh and the rash does not react well to saunas and hot salt baths. Found that out after the fact. Apply cold packs when trying to lay down for rest and sleep. Take tons of vitamin B12, manuka honey works well in your mouth and on the rashes.
Thankfully I didn’t get the rash on my face and into my eye. It can blind your eye and hurts even more there. No cures just band aids to help you ride it out. You can train your brain to deal with the pain. Or use drum beat therapy or PEMF treatments, which works great for the nerve irritation of the varicella-zoster virus, or chickenpox / shingles virus.
One title would be sufficient for this virus, like Be Gone Faster Virus would work.
Hope you never get it, and I hope it never comes back. Mostly I hope this corona virus doesn’t get as bad as Bill Gates predicted it will. Every other virus won’t compare to the scare of it, mainly to get the masses to receive the universal vaccine. They say it will protect us from all viruses. Or not. Do you trust Them?
Do your research and try to stay strong and ready for what’s coming.
If you are interested in a personal memorial bench or just a Love Bench for your home entrance way send me a message and I will send you a quote.
I worked on a special red cedar project with Protection Island wood crafter Mat Colleret, Two Ravens memorial bench for our dear friend Roger.
Fully hand carved by myself with copper accents and beautiful bench crafting by Mat. Retail cost start at $7500.
I have some wonderful news about a new project that I have been working on, with a fitness company in Qualicum Beach.
Our project will be focussing on fitness, cultural awareness and over health and wellness through Tsimshian tribal dance and drumming.
We will be offering weekly drumming fitness and wellness programs by the hour, for families and individuals of all ages, as well as pre-booking for our exciting four day retreats.
Basic classes will focus on drumming and fitness for all levels, and the retreats will consist of all aspects of drumming, stretching, healing, drum making and design painting.
We are planning wonderful Tsimshian meals and snacks, along with advice from our health and wellness coach, estetics and jade stone massage services.
Another highlight for next season will be a canoe journey in our new dugout cedar canoe, using paddles made at the retreat facility.
So much to experience and share.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 250–240–1007 for more information.
ON HOLD UNTIL COVID DOES ITS RESET
I will be sharing drumming and wood carving at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre until November. Hope to see you there.
All logo designs can be commissioned for non profit use only or for reproduction a copyright purchase with guidelines can be negotiated.
Copyright ownership costs start at $1000. for branding and identity purposes.
We offer complete logo designing services for any type of business.
Bill Helin specializes in Northern Style Aboriginal designs and has been approached many times to incorporate Native design with non traditional elements.
“I look forward to discussing your branding ideas. Text me at 250-240-1007
-and thank you for your interest in my artwork.” BH