Thomas Doty – Storyteller
A Native View
West of the Cascade Mountains, most native villages were located along rivers, and yet people got their drinking water from springs and small creeks. In the Old Time, when fish were abundant, there were also lots of dead fish in the rivers, making that water undesirable for drinking. In the 1800s, Europeans reported that fish were so plentiful one could go fishing with a pitchfork! But for native people, there is a deeper meaning. Fetching life-giving water is a sacred gesture, a daily journey to the source, bringing them a little closer to creation.
Photo: A small creek flows through the native village of Coyote's Paw along the Klamath River.