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Ceepee and the Fish Camp

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Ceepee and the Fish CampWatercolour Illustrations by Cliff MannFirst Nations Designs by Jennifer Annaïs PighinDakelh Translations by Edith FrederickWritten by Huble Homestead/Giscome Portage Heritage Society

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This book was written and published by the Huble Homestead/Giscome Portage Heritage Society with participation and support from Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.Huble Homestead Historic Site is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. The Lheidli T’enneh Fish Camp exhibit was constructed at the historic site in 2005 to help share the history of their people.We are grateful to Lheidli T’enneh Elders for their support and input on this project. Thank you to Elder Clifford Quaw for his early guidance and demonstration of dip netting. Elder Edith Frederick has been instrumental in the interpretation of Lheidli history at Huble Homestead for many years. Our deep thanks go to her for her gift of traditional names for the characters, for correcting the text of this book, and, as a Lheidli language teacher, for providing the Dakelh vocabulary word translations. To both Elders Frederick and Quaw, nenachalhuya.Thank you to Cliff Mann for his watercolour illustrations, hard work, and patience; to Jennifer Annaïs Pighin for her First Nations designs and advice; and to Society staff Krystal Leason and Carli Bennett for writing the book. We thankfully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia, Northern Health, and the Fraser-Fort George Endowment Fund (Area G) for this project.

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Dakelh, also known as Carrier, is the traditional language of the Lheidli T’enneh. Like many Indigenous languages, Lheidli Dakelh is at risk of disappearing as a result of colonization and cultural assimilation. Lheidli Elders are working hard to preserve and revive the Lheidli dialect of Dakelh.Use the following pronunciation guide to help you with the Dakelh words included in this book. The lh sound is unfamiliar in English; to pronounce it, push the tip of your tongue against the back of your front teeth and open your mouth at the sides while making a long l sound. The most important thing is to try!

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* The kh sound is made at the back of your throat like you’re ready to bring up phlegmDakelh Wordbets’ukaihbulhtusbulhutsidak’etkeyohkhui* Lheidli Lhtakoh lhukw ba nits’unihnuwus’olulh shentalukwtalukw nadlehts’i’Uba’Uloo ’Utsiyan’UtsooyusMeaning dip nether sisterher brotherfallterritorywinterwhere two rivers flow together (current day Prince George )many waters flow into one (Fraser River)fish campsoapberries springsummersalmonsalmon run canoeFatherMotherGrandfatherGrandmothersnow Pronunciationbeh-tsu-ka-uhbulh-tusbulh-ut-sidaa-ketkay-yoh ghu-uheellate-leelluh-tak-ohluhk-wih bah-knee-tsuh-neenuh-wusoh-lulhshen ta-luck-wuh ta-luck-wuh nad-laytseeuh-bahuh-loout-see-yanut-sooyus Click here

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Ceepee lives on the banks of Lhtakoh. She lives with ’Uloo, ’Uba, bulhutsi Zaa, and bulhtus Anzell.

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Ceepee lives on the banks of Lhtakoh. She lives with ’Uloo, ’Uba, bulhutsi Zaa, and bulhtus Anzell. In khui, Ceepee’s family lives in a village called Lheidli.’Uba and Zaa have been checking the trap lines all khui long,bringing home pelts for ’Uloo and Ceepee to clean and stretch.

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When ’olulh arrives, ’Uba and Zaa pack up the furs and take themto Prince George to trade. Zaa is hoping ’Uba will get him his own rifle so he can join in on hunts this year.

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’Uba and Zaa make short trips throughout their keyoh to fish for lake trout, white fish, and carp in the newly-thawed lakes. ’Uloo, Ceepee, and Anzell stay in the village planting potatoes, cabbages, carrots, and peas.

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Once the garden is growing, ’Uloo says it is time for a trip to town.This time Ceepee and Anzell can go, too! Ceepee wants to pick fabric for a new dress, but ’Uloo says Ceepee needs new shoes instead so her old dress will have to do. Anzell just wants candy!

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When shen finally arrives, it’s time to start picking berries! This is Ceepee’s favourite job to help with because she can eat while she works! Ceepee and ’Uloo visit all of the berry patches, picking saskatoons, blueberries, and strawberries.

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Ceepee especially looks forward to when the nuwus are ripe. It is a special treat for everyone when ’Uloo whips the bitter nuwus with sweet raspberries to make a foamy dessert.

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Near the end of shen, everyone in the village travels to their camps to prepare for the talukw nadleh. Ceepee’s family travels north of the village to their lhukw ba nits’unih at the bend of the Lhtakoh. Her whole family goes to the lhukw ba nits’unih: ’Utsoo and ’Utsiyan, her aunts and uncles, and all her cousins, too.

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Everyone has work to do. The first job is to set up the camp. Ceepee wants to help unload the ts’i. She picks up a box of food supplies, but uh oh! She slips on the riverbank and SPLASH! The baking powder is ruined! ’Uloo says not to worry. They can get more tomorrow at the general store.

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Ceepee’s uncles cut poles for the tents, lean-to, and drying racks. ’Uba and ’Utsiyan check the smokehouse and meat cache to ensure they are still sturdy. Zaa and the cousins collect firewood. ’Utsoo and Ceepee watch the children while her aunts and ’Uloo get supper ready.

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In the morning, the men build the dip stand and get outthe bets’ukaih. The women prepare to travel down river to the general store. While their aunts go inside to trade, Ceepee and Anzell hope for a treat!

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Ceepee’s excitement builds as they return to camp. She is finally old enough to help Zaa and her cousins bring in the talukw from the dip stand!

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When night falls, Ceepee watches her uncle stand at the end of the dip stand, slowly and silently moving a bets’ukaih through the water. Ceepee jumps in surprise when, quick as a flash, he twists the bets’ukaih and flips a talukw onto the riverbank. Flop, flop, flop! Ceepee and Zaa rush to grab the fish and put it in a box.

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Ceepee is having a great time ... for a while! It is harder than she thought to sit without making any noise. The fishermen need to listen for the special whistling sound the talukw make as they swim upriver. Ceepee knows that if she talks with her cousins the sound might scare the fish away.

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After a few hours, ’Uloo tells a yawning Ceepee to go to bed. There will be a lot of work to do in the morning, and she needs to get some sleep. When the sun comes up, it will be time to start cleaning all the fish.

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In the morning, Ceepee’s aunts teach her how to gut the talukw. ’Utsoo collects all the guts and puts them back into the river.She says this will make sure that the talukw will return next year.

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The gutted talukw are ready to go on the drying rack. The fish need to hang in the sun for a day to make them less slimy. After they are dry, Ceepee’s aunts take the talukw off the rack and get them ready to go in the smokehouse.

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Ceepee loves the smell of the smokehouse. She and her cousins help collect wood to keep the fire in the smokehouse burning all day and all night. After a few days, the fish will be finished smoking. The talukw will feed Ceepee’s family all khui long.

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After a lot of hard work, Ceepee’s family has enough talukw to last until ’olulh comes again! It is time to pack up the camp and haul all the fish and supplies back to Lheidli.

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As dak’et arrives and the family settles back in the village, Zaa is already excited to leave again! He has his new rifle,and he wants to go hunting for moose, deer, and bear.

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’Uba and the uncles take Zaa hunting while Ceepee helps the women harvest the gardens and preserve the food for khui.

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As the yus piles higher and higher,Ceepee keeps warm,

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dreaming of all the new adventures she’ll have next shen at the lhukw ba nits’unih.

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This book is based on Lheidli T’enneh history from over one hundred years ago.You can visit a replica lhukw ba nits’unih and learn more about the history of the Lheidli T’enneh by visiting Huble Homestead Historic Site.Huble Homestead Historic Site is open daily fromVictoria Day to Labour Day, and is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, 40 kilometres north of Prince George, British Columbia, just off Highway 97 on Mitchell

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The Lheidli T’enneh are a community built on and around the strength of its people. Consisting of over 400 members, they represent a proud, united peoples working to keep their culture alive and strong by passing on their traditions and teachings to the next generation. In their traditional language of Dakelh, Lheidli T’enneh means “The People from the Confluence of the River.” Lheidli T’enneh traditional territory includes the city of Prince George, British Columbia.

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Other books in the Huble Homestead series:Mr. Huble Builds a HouseMrs. Huble Grows a GardenMr. Seebach and the New StoreCliff Mann is a self-taught watercolour artist from Prince George. His work has been featured in Splash: The Best of Watercolor and Watercolor Artist magazine.Jennifer Annaïs Pighin is a visual artist and educator. She is a member of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation with Witsuwit’un, French, and Italian ancestry.Edith Frederick is one of the last fluent speakers of the Lheidli dialect of Dakelh. She has been teaching Dakelh, Lheidli history, and Lheidli culture within the Lheidli community and at institutions around Prince George for many years.The Huble Homestead/Giscome Portage Heritage Society exists to preserve and promote the history of the Huble Homestead, Giscome Portage, and surrounding area through responsible stewardship and educational programming.