sharp lava rocks, while watching their kids on the banks of the rivers from Canada down into California and as far east as Idaho. Iâ€™ve been told that traditionally the men generally fished and the women processed the fish into a dry pulp that was packaged in the quart-sized wĂĄpaash baskets and buried or otherwise stored until needed. It was traded to people all throughout the Midwest and other territories. People came from the south and from the east to acquire the food and other goods. I was surprised to learn that traditionally women did the trading to acquire what was needed for the families. I feel that some of this has not changed today. For the first three years of my fisherwoman life, I had a partner who was a very good fisherman. One of the best on the river. He would provide the fish, which I would sell. Anything left would be smoked, dried, canned, or frozen. I learned how to do these things. The summer months were very fruitful for us. The river provided us with everything that we needed. Everything.
During my fourth year of fishing I did everything alone. I fished alone and sold the fish. I camped on the river by myself, sometimes sleeping in my truck. I woke up on the river before the sun came up, and I went to sleep at sundown, exhausted. I visited every camp on the river by myself last summer from Cascade Locks to the Wishram Village near The Dalles, where my people are originally from. I met a lot of people and did business with them. I talk Indian with some. At times I was afraid, many days were very uncomfortable and frustrating and harsh. But I learned to take care of myself. I learned how to speak to people, how to face my fears. I learned a lot about life. These are all the blessings that came from the river and
The journal of the University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program