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The Mighty Fraser River - The Prequel #30 Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 08/31/2022
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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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 Mighty Fraser River


Northern St̓át̓imcets: Sát̓atqwa7

Líl̓wat: sat̓átqwa7 (Fraser River, muddy river)

nłeʔkepmxcin: ƛ̓əq̓əmcín (tributary of Fraser River and Thompson River)

English Translation: Fraser River

The longest river in British Columbia is the Fraser river, which meanders for 1,375 kilometers from Rocky Mountains on the west to the Georgia Straight in Vancouver to the east. The Fraser River and its scenery were formed by meltwater and glacial runoff. This occurred about 10 thousand years ago.

The river was a transportation route and source of food for indigenous people living along its banks long before Simon Fraser journeyed down its shores. Many Fraser River canoe routes were used for trading purposes.  Fraser River canoe routes were also used to reach the Pacific Ocean, where First Nations people traded with coastal communities.

Salmon was especially significant for the diets and cultural traditions of First Nations along the Fraser River. There are three primary cultural areas — the Coast Salish near the mouth of the Fraser; the Plateau, including Nlaka’pamux, Okanagan (also known as the Syilx), Secwepemc, St’át’imc and Tsilhqot’in in the central Fraser. In addition to salmon, First Nations caught sturgeon, cod, trout and eulachon using advanced fishing tools such as spears, nets, hooks and traps.  The Fraser River's salmon are among the most well-known creatures that call it home. Every year, millions of salmon migrate up and down the river in order to reproduce. The Fraser River contains all five species of North American Pacific salmon, including sockeye, coho, chum, Chinook, and pink rainbow trout. There are also two types of trout that are closely related to salmon—cutthroat and rainbow (or steelhead), which reside in the river.

The first salmon runs began in July, thus late July and early August were traditionally used to fish for salmon, particularly sockeye. The quantity of the catch during these migrations determined whether families could endure the winter by drying and preserving the fish. Salmon heads, eggs, and intestines were processed to produce salmon oil, which was kept in bottles constructed of salmon skin. Salmon skins were also utilized to make shoes.  After cutting cross-grain cuts in the flesh, the fish were hung from poles of a drying rack and preserved by hanging them from the branches of a tree. The strong, hot winds along the riverbank help to dry the flesh. In the autumn, salmon are kept for the winter.

The Fraser River is still an important part of life for many Indigenous people living in British Columbia. It is a place where families can gather and tell stories to continue on with oral traditions.  Along the Rivershore, the passing knowledge on to the next generation to learn and use happens. It is a place for fond memories and bonding of the family generations.  

Researched and written by Brandy Cooper-Chardon


Water Walker of the Fraser River - Google,

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