Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sisters of Peace: Salish Indian Tale

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sisters of Peace: Salish Indian Tale

Article excerpt

MANY, many years ago, as the gentle spring winds came to the Capilano canyon at the edge of the vast Pacific, two daughters of the great chief known as Tyee reached womanhood. The river swelled, the leaves opened, and flocks of birds returned to the land after their long winter's sojourn.

With the coming of spring, the great Tyee prepared a celebration in honor of his daughters, a celebration that would last for days.

There was just one sad note. The tribe of the great Tyee was at war with the people who lived farther north. Giant war canoes sliced through the waters of the coast, and the people chanted war songs. As the time for celebration neared, the great Tyee decided he would put aside his battles for the week of his daughters' feast. He would not allow the enemy to destroy this sacred tradition of his people. A week before the great feast, the two daughters, hand in hand, came to their father. "Father, we want to ask something of you," they said. The great Tyee adored his daughters, and all his people recognized the strength and gifts of the women of the tribe. "Speak, daughters," the chief said. "Father," the girls went on, "one day we may give birth to children who may become as great and powerful as you. We hope you will, in honor of us, do us one favor." The great Tyee smiled at his daughters. He would do anything they wished. "It is your privilege to receive any favor you want at this celebration. I promise you I will grant your request," he said. The girls felt brave when they heard their father's words, and stepped closer. "We ask you, for our sakes, to invite the great tribe to the north, the tribe you wage war against, to our feast." The chief was shocked. "To our peaceful feast?" he asked. "Our feast in honor of women? Are you certain this is your wish?" "It is," the girls replied. …

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