Telling Our Stories:
Story telling is the Shuswap
way of passing our history
to the next generations
The Little Creek and the little bridge
The little creek (Borland Creek) flows down below the reserve and under the little bridge (on Mission Road) by Lynn Gilbert’s house. We used to get our water from a spring right by Lynn’s house. Then there was the gardens which were located where the ball field is now located. Many families had gardens in bygone days. We had to because there was no welfare back then. We had to grow our own vegetables and hunt our meat. The water was so clean in that little creek, we used to haul all our water from there for daily use. Whenever we were playing down there, we often just plopped down on all fours and drank from the creek. We don’t dare do that today. The Little Creek flowed year round, it never dried up like it does sometimes today. Every few years, in the spring time, the Little Creek would overflow its banks so much so that water would reach as far as where the water plant is today. I think one year the Little Bridge was even washed away.
All the barns were located down on the flat near the creek. There were more than ten barns down on the flat. Only Felix Bob had his barn above the village area. It was located right beside where the gym is now located. When I was a little boy I could remember only about seven barns still being used. The others were still there but was no longer being used. The owners no longer had livestock so the barns began to fall into disrepair.
I learned to swim in the Little Creek just below the bridge beside John Banty’s field. I can still remember the feeling I had when I found that I would no longer sink. I could all of a sudden swim in deeper water with the big kids. Man what a feeling. I also learned to skate on the little creek. We couldn’t afford to buy skates, so if I was to learn to skate I would have to borrow someone else’s skates.
We also used to catch suckers with our hands in John’s field when the creek overflowed its banks in the spring. We used to all strip naked, pile our clothes beside the creek, and run in the ankle deep water chasing the suckers that were trying to make their way to the creek. That must have been a site. Naked Indian kids running all over the place with flapping suckers in their hands. Now everybody knows that suckers aren’t good fish to eat because of all the bones in them. But these suckers were big, some of them two feet or more, so we would pack some of the biggest ones home thinking that our mom’s would cook them because they were so big. But, no way, we were always sent right out the door to dispose of them. I’m sure that there are many others who are now elders who have the same fond memories about the Little Creek.