Children Dancing. Courtesy of the Secwépemc Cultural Education Society

The Secwépemc people performed many dances for various occasions. When the harvest was ample the environment became festive and joyful with happy onlookers. While the men distributed the catch among participating families, fish was processed for those community members especially the elderly and anyone else unable to fish for themselves.

Salmon Dance: The salmon dance was performed by men who would act out different catching, dip-netting and spearing techniques while singing the salmon song. When a child caught his first fish, there was also a ceremony.

Marmot Dance: A performer would pretend he was going to trap marmots in the mountains, carrying a pack and the sticks used for marmot-traps. Another performer would pretend to be a marmot, and would imitate their actions with motions and be whistling. The dance ended with the marmot’s capture.

Beaver Dance: Performers would pretend to be beaver, wearing masks of bark, painted with vertical red stripes, headbands of beaver skin, a beaver tail in front and a number of tail feathers all around.