Earlier this month, the Native American Club took a trip to “She Who Watches” along the Columbia River Gorge. We were accompanied by Ed Edmo, a Chinook storyteller.
Before we arrived at She Who Watches, we stopped off at a park and Ed showed us pictures of Celilo Falls before the Dalles Dam was built and flooded the river and the falls in 1957. Fisherman used to use dipnets and long spears to catch the salmon that swam through the rapids and jumped over the falls. An estimated 20 million salmon used to pass through the falls every year, making it one of the best fishing sites in North America.
When we finally made it to “She Who Watches” we were able to actually hike into the fenced area of Columbia Hills Sate Park where many of the petroglyphs were. Ed had many stories to tell us about the Gorge. He explained why the river sparkles, how the Three Sisters came to be, how the Columbia River came to be and the story of She Who Watches (Tsagagalal). Ed explained to us that the petroglyph of Tsagagalal watches over the Columbia River and all of the people who live on it. He told us that the site is a popular place for Native American spirit quests.
After we hiked back from She Who Watches, we took Ed out to lunch at a nearby restaurant. He talked to us about his poetry other works that he’s done. Ed was a fantastic guide through She Who Watches. If you want to learn more about Ed and his storytelling, visit his website!