(The e-mail text below is from my Sto:lo friend Darryl E. Bowles, who grew up in the woods near Elwha, Washington in the 1930s, and is now a retired seafarer and storyteller living in Nerja, Spain.)
I used to go to Celilo every year when I was a kid. It is quite difficult to describe what it was because it was still the biggest by far, open air market in the Northwest back then. People came from all over to trade, not only for fish but every conceivable item produced by Native people.
The most flamboyant were the Indians from around Yakima and Colville who brought some of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen. Not so much for trade but to show off. We didn’t have horses nor did we have any use for them and our boats could not make the trip around from Puget Sound and then up the river so our “Best” was never seen there.
Later on I sailed on the Columbia and was one of the first tugs to go through the new locks at the dam. (The largest in the world at that time.) Brought tears to my eyes as I knew what had been lost. The rest of the crew on the boat were white men and although they were all from around that area none of them had a clue. And when I tried to explain they all looked at me like I was nuts. THIS WAS AN IMPROVEMENT!
When I asked “For who?” They really thought I should be locked up.
The “Good old days” weren’t always so good to all of us.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here