Skip to content

The Caretakers of The Fossil Beds - The Prequel #6 Traditional Geocache

This cache has been archived.

Skookum Bear: As there has been no response from the cache owner, I am regretfully archiving the cache.

If the cache owner would like to replace a cache at this location, please submit a new geocache listing and it will be reviewed under the current Geocaching guidelines.

Hidden : 08/25/2022
3 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

Join now to view geocache location details. It's free!


How Geocaching Works

Please note Use of services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer.

Geocache Description:

This geocache is part of the Gold Country GeoTour – The Prequel: Be A Guest.  This GeoTour focuses on a step back in time to learn about before the Gold Rush ensued: languages of the region’s culturally diverse families, handed down traditions such as recipes, flora and fauna, historic sites of significance, and points of interest. These stories will help preserve the oral languages and traditions of the region as well as assist in educating visitors and locals alike to the cultural diversity and environmental sensitivity of the region.

The Caretakers of The Fossil Beds

The Secw’epemc people are Indigenous to North America and their history before colonization is long and storied. The Secw’epemc people’s traditional territory also encompasses the land that holds the wonderous McAbee fossil beds. They are situated near Highway 1/97, east of Cache Creek and west of Kamloops. These fossils date back to the Eocene Epoch--53 million years ago!

Canada's fossil site is not only diverse, but also home to some of the most exceptional and well-preserved insect and plant fossils in the world. In addition to an abundance of fish fossils, there are also bird, spider, and crayfish fossils. The fossil record at this site provides valuable insights into Eocene biodiversity and ecosystems during a period of much warmer global climate.

The B.C. government intervened in 2012 to prevent commercialization and mining of the McAbee fossil beds site, which has been heritage-designated since then. The Bonaparte First Nation has been awarded the title to be stewards of the land. Randy Porter of St̓uxwtéwsemc or the Bonaparte First Nations to non-Indigenous people has said, "We are learning what is there from the past, the artifacts, the fossils, we need to know where our people were and where they came from. It is important for people to know the indigenous way of life; I think because there has to be a better understanding both with the native and non-native to come as one. I think that it is important to know where we come from and why we do the things that we do; to accept them into our culture and accept their cultures as well."  

It is a fitting role for the Bonaparte First Nations as current day, Chief Frank Antoine says, "There are stories attached to this site based upon the transformers from our Indigenous traditions, and how that is significant to our people here in the territory."  The Secw’epemc people regarded the "mythological age" as the start of their time, according to their beliefs. This was the epoch of the first ancestors for the Secw’epemc - creatures who possessed human and animal qualities in equal measure. "Stsptekwle" is the Secwepemc language word for "stories or myths" about these beings. Some of these animal people had extraordinary abilities. The end of the Mythological Age was signaled by the appearance of beings called "transformers." These transformers traveled around and changed things into what they are today preparing the land for the natives.

Coyote is the best known and remembered transformer figure. Stories of his exploits tell how he had a foolhardy nature, but also how coyote was gifted with amazing supernatural abilities. Coyote was regarded as being very clever. Coyote is credited with many creation stories including salmon farming and fishing sites creation. Coyote also transformed people-killing monsters and made the world safe for the present-day Secw’epemc. Because Coyote was foolish and sometimes left his work incomplete, the Old One himself had to finish the work. Finally, Coyote himself, was transformed into Coyote rocks that can be seen throughout Secw’epemc territory.

It is said that Coyote's most important contribution was to introduce the salmon and to create fishing sites. The greatest value of the legends and stories of the Secwepemc people are in the values and attitudes towards all relationships in the world. They teach that everything in this world has a purpose for being here and that we must respect this.


Site researched by Misty Antoine and site story written by Brandy Cooper-Chardon

Additional Hints (No hints available.)