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Not many people know about Secwepemc words, but most people understand the meaning of these messages through feeling, common sense, and drawing. Nature gives us everything for free, and we should take care of Her.

The Tk‘emlúpsemc, ‘the people of the confluence’, now known as the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc are members of the Interior-Salish Secwepemc (Shuswap) speaking peoples of British Columbia.

The Shuswap or Secwepemc (pronounced suh-wep-muhc) people occupy a vast territory of the interior of British Columbia. This traditional territory stretches from the Columbia River valley along the Rocky Mountains, west to the Fraser River, and south to the Arrow Lakes. Most Secwepemc people live in the river valleys.

According to Janice Billy (2015), Secwepemc has a long tradition of storytelling. Traditional stories, or stsptekwle, include the history, landforms, and cultural practices and beliefs of the Secwepemc and share valuable teachings with younger generations. All Secwepemc stories have a close relation with mother nature and positive or good spirits.

The Secwepemc believe that when the world was just beginning it was not a very good place for people to live, there were floods, fires, and great winds; therefore, the Old One (Tqelt Kukwpi7) sent Coyote (Sek’lep) to come to earth and help to set things right.

Kukwpi7 is what Chiefs were called in Secwepemc. The Kukwpi7s role is to work for the people and ensure that the lands and resources were protected for future generations. They did not stand above the people but walked side by side with them.

What does nature give us for free?

Everything humans have needed to survive, and thrive, was provided by the natural world around us: food, water, medicine, materials for shelter, and even natural cycles such as climate and nutrients from soil. In accordance with the Gaia Hypothesis, taking care of mother nature continuously can be done by feeding the earth through composting and vermicomposting activities using leftover organic waste around us together with the soil creatures such as earthworms and beneficial soil microbes.

It’s a great pleasure for me and our team at Burnaby Red Wigglers to supply over 25 thousand hard worker employees of the red wigglers (compost worms), also worm cocoons (compound eggs) and worm castings (vermicompost) for the education and gardening at the Neskonlith Education Center, Chase, British Columbia this late Spring, which is in coincidence with the Earth Day 2022.

I have just received good news from them that their red wigglers are doing great. All the best. Kukwstsétsemc (thank you).

-Bintoro Gunadi-