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Secwepemc Landmarks

Rat's House

Rat's House

Coyote's Marker

Coyotes marker

There are many land markers throughout the Secwepemc Nation. The markers were created by Coyote and the Creator to remind the Secwepemc of their responsibilities. The markers are reminders of how the Secwpemec must behave; while others mark out the territory of the Secwepemc.

Giant Rat’s House

The house of the giant rat, a fearful character in Secwepemc legends, can be found in the rock face at Hoffman’s Bluff approximately 12 kilometers from Chase, B. C. In the rock face, you will see a huge crack in the rocks; this is the doorway to the giant rat’s house.

Long ago, the giant rat lived among the Secwepemc. The people never saw him, but they knew he was around. Parents warned their children that if they did not behave the giant rat would take them away to his house and eat them.

The giant rat traveled around at night, looking for bad children to capture. He would sneak up on them, put them into his pack, and take them home to eat. One day, a brave young man decided to try to kill the rat so he would no longer take the children. He followed the rat to his house. When the rat reached his house, the young man watched as the rat sang out, “katch, a, choo, choo”. He sang the song three times. When he finished, the door opened and the rat entered with the children.

The next time the rat entered the village to take more bad children; the young man followed him again. When the rat returned to his house, the young man was right behind him. As the rat sang out his song and the door opened, the young man snuck up behind the rat. He put a huge stick inside the doorway so it would not close. He went inside the house and killed the rat. From then on, the children were safe from the rat; even the bad children.

Today when children see the crack in the rock face, which is the doorway to the giant rat’s house, they are reminded to behave properly. The rat’s house is one of the many markers on the land to remind the Secwepemc to behave properly.

Coyote's Marker

 

Coyote’s Marker – Pillar

Sk’elpakw, known as Pillar Lake, is the lake between Falkland and Chase, B.C. Sk’elpakw is an important hunting and fishing area for the Secwepemc. Above the lake, is the one of the Coyote rock markers. Coyote traveled throughout the land of the Secwepemc and marked out their territory by rock markers.

Long ago Coyote traveled around on Secwepemculecw (land of the Secwepemc). He helped make the land a better place for the Secwepemc. He helped them in many ways, such as putting fishing rocks by the rivers.

As Coyote was traveling on the land, he placed many land markers on the land. The markers are made out of rocks and are many different shapes. He put them on the land to mark out the territory of the Secwepemc. The Secwepemc know the boundaries of their territory by the markers Coyote placed on the land.

The Pillar is one of the land markers made by Coyote.

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