Dear Readers

Fear not the Darkness, But What Lies Within, The recesses of our mind, The creepy cobwebbed corners,That lingers on and tickles us,With tingle feelings of alarm, The deep in the stomach, Pain we feel when we do warn, The fear is deadly it seeks, The deepest corner of our mind, It's just a story to alarm,Educate and provide entertainment for our minds. So read on dear reader, I hope you find the stories amusing and full of charm.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Three Word Wednesday -The Secwécwpemc People

Three Word Wednesday -The Secwécwpemc People

Divulge, verb: Disclose, reveal, tell, communicate, pass on, publish, broadcast, proclaim; expose, uncover, make public, give away, let slip; informal spill the beans about, let on about, let the cat out of the bag about.

Godless, adjective: Atheistic, unbelieving, agnostic, skeptical, heretical, faithless, irreligious, ungodly, unholy, impious, profane; infidel, heathen, idolatrous, pagan; satanic, devilish; immoral, wicked, sinful, wrong, evil, bad, iniquitous, corrupt; irreligious, sacrilegious, profane, blasphemous, impious; depraved, degenerate, debauched, perverted, decadent; impure.

Insignificant, adjective: Unimportant, trivial, trifling, negligible, inconsequential, of no account, inconsiderable; nugatory, paltry, petty, insubstantial, frivolous, pointless, worthless, meaningless, irrelevant, immaterial, peripheral; informal piddling.

The Secwécwpemc People

    The boat had landed on the shores of a vast territory. Everywhere you looked green trees, mountains rising up from the earth. Not just any trees great fir trees that almost touch the sky in their beauty. Their lungs could breathe pure fresh air and their bodies felt alive with the earth. The men could see why the Hudson Bay Company wanted this area scouted and the goods that the natives and trappers could provide brought to them. There were animals in abundance to trap and the men were to go further into the wilderness and see what other animals they could trap for their furs before they reached their destination.

   They walked for days over mountains, down mountains until they came to another beautiful area where the mountain met a crystal clear lake, fed by mountain streams.  One of the first scouts to the area had divulged the first time Henry had visited that there was godless, native peoples living here. But Henry Waller knew there could not be anyone godless in beauty like this and he had welcomed the chance to trade with the Secwepemc or Shuswap tribe nomadic peoples who lived in this area in the summer for trading. Now with the Hudson Bay Company monopoly ending even more traders would be entering these formerly insignificant wilderness areas to trap and trade goods with other companies. They then would import these goods to Europe and other places furs, and dried animal parts. Henry knew his contact with these indigenous peoples would help him and his men to come out ahead of the trading wars that might come.

    When Henry had met the tribe three years he had been welcomed the chief himself, Apenimon and met his daughter Aponi who was betrothed to Askuwheteau. His son Bemossed had not been so welcoming and had challenged Henry to fishing and hunting that Henry had excelled at.  Henry had allowed Bemossed to beat him, only to keep Bemossed’s pride, but Bemossed had guessed that Henry had done so. Bemossed appreciated the gesture, since he as chief’s son was expected to be the best. Henry and Bemossed had become friends and thus Henry stayed for over a year with the tribe collecting pelts and dried body parts to sell to the Hudson Bay Company.

    Their language very difficult to understand but Henry strived to master it. Living with the tribe for over a year, Henry learned more than simple phrases, he could now understand and speak their language. Though phrases like Secwécwpemc - ken ri7 which meant I am Shuswap the name of their tribe and Weyt-k which meant Hello if you spoke to more than one you said Weyt-kp, he taught to his men. The tribe wanted him to stay and were disappointed when he left. He hoped they would welcome him and his men warmly again.

    Henry and his men entered the grounds of the tribe to find them ailing, many were coughing droplets that flew through the air and landed on the men. Smallpox decimated the once large tribe. All around him people were suffering or dying. He found Askuwheteau dead and Aponi shivering over his body. Bemossed could not be found.

    Henry had suffered and survived from smallpox when he was five so he had immunity from the disease, Henry began administering to the sick and dying. His men fled into the forest away from the sickness lest they too be inflicted with smallpox. some came back ill and trembling and Henry worked night and day ministering to all of the sick with some of the tribes unaffected women. When the sickness started to pass some seven days later, and the bodies were counted, the dead numbered over two hundred more of the tribe dead and all of Henry’s men that had come back from the forest. Henry began bury the bodies and found the rest of his own men dead at the edge of the woods. They too had succumbed to the disease. Henry felt bad that traders had brought this illness to the people he grown to respect and admire.

    The chief survived and rewarded Henry with membership in the tribe. Henry decided that this was the life he wanted and he joined the tribe. A year later Aponi became his wife and they settled into a good life. Henry fished and hunted in the good months and they had food to feed the members of the tribe. They grew crops and were self-sufficient.  They had six sons and one daughter who lived a full life. The tribe continued to foster and grow until the colonial government divided the Secwepemc people into seventeen distinct groups with specific parcels of land designated to each. The Secwepemc people he was with stayed in the area of the lake and continued the old ways, but it wasn’t the same. Henry knew that with the land grab of the colonial government more couldn’t be far behind. Henry and Aponi’s descendants now still live in Kamloops not far from Shuswap Lake. As Henry suspected the land was taken from them however the old stories are told from generation to generation in the Heritage Park where the tribes history is told today.

©Sheilagh Lee  July 2, 2014


  1. Interesting timing on this. I was going through some old magazines the other day and came across an article on pre-colonization Manhattan. It got me thinking, of course, about the lands and people that were changed forever all those centuries ago.

  2. Maybe you are a little like Henry Sheilagh - not afraid to explore and understand new territory and worlds ;)

  3. Thank you Ann, I just decided on writing something a little different today Ann. I had been reading about the fight that native peoples are undergoing in B.C. to get back some of their lands and I thought of the lovely people I had met as a child and thus this story was born after a little research.

    Thank you JaeRose but I travel only in my mind through books.Though I do love to read about different places maybe if I had the money I would travel/

    1. Same here! and the comforts of armchair travel at a certain age are welcome

  4. Countless peoples suffered this fate, civilizations not strong enough to repel invaders and vulnerable to even simple colonist ailments. Flue and measles were killers too. We will forever be shouting in the wilderness about such actions that caused these peoples demise. It is always good to air such stories as they are soon forgotten.

  5. so true. thank you old egg for reading

  6. I'm surprised more of the traders didn't survive. They should have had more resistance. It's a sad tale repeated in many parts of the world.

  7. it is a sad tale told that many people died from smallpox

  8. ohh these invaders, how they ruin everything.. very well written

    Tina from The Sunny Side of Life