First Peoples

Coyote’s Still Talking

Some cultures are so ancient that they watched the glaciers come and go 10,000 years ago. So it is with the Syilx culture of today’s Colville Confederated Tribes. Once the ice melted and the post-glacial floods abated and the people climbed down from the high country or pushed through from the south and east, the first person sniffing his way was the ancestor Sen’klip, who the Yakimas to the south called Spillyay and the Nez Perce to the east called Itseyéyeh and most people just call Coyote now, and when he needed someone to talk to, to mull his thoughts over with, he shat, or farted, depending on the severity of the conversation, and talked to the smell on the wind. Well, his conversations are still here, on the road between Nespelem and Coulee Dam, above the river. Look, you can even see the hole made by the conversation, in the middle of the pile.coyoteSen’klip left hundreds of piles like this in this stretch of the Columbia (in the gorge cutting across the middle of the image). Not to be missed for the world! They will outlive the Grand Coulee dam, just upriver.


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