Deep in Our Bones
We have huge grandma and grandpa cedar trees on the coast, they have been standing watch for over a thousand years. They entomb within them the leftovers from all parts of westcoast life. Bears will eat the salmon out of the rivers and leave the bones to fertilize the soil. An honourable burial for our people is to be put in a cedar box and left in arms of these huge trees.
We were a whaling people and each whale provided our people with so much sustenance. Each part of the whale could be used for so many purposes. Even though we no longer whale, they are a part of our root system. I wanted to honour the contribution they made to our culture, spirituality and families with every life they offered us. This is part of a series exploring my people’s relationship with whales.