The Sweeney Creek area, located just east of the British Columbia-Alberta border, is one of the places we would gather seasonally to hunt, camp and learn from our Dreamers as they traveled across our lands.
Elder Margaret Davis remembers camping at Sweeney Creek in her youth in the 1940s and ’50s. Her family would set up a seasonal base camp there. She recalls spending time tanning hides and doing the beadwork that she would often trade for groceries and supplies.
DRFN Elder Maggie Davis cutting up drymeat at Sweeny Creek.
As he traveled between his people in Alberta and British Columbia to share his prophecies and dreams, the Dreamer Gaayęa used a trail that later became the first wagon trail through this area. The old wagon trail is now expanded into a road, but we still use parts of the old trail, unaffected by the road, to access our traditional hunting and camping grounds.
Elder Tommy Attachie tells the story of Gaayęa bringing back his Prairie Chicken Song from heaven while camping at Sweeney Creek in 1922. We continue to sing this song today at our Dreamers’ Dances. Listen to two different recordings of this song; one sung by Charlie Yahey in 1966 and the other sung by Albert Askoty in the 1990s.
Tommy Attachie also recalls the story of Makéts’awéswąą becoming a Dreamer after dying and coming back to life while passing through the Sweeney Creek area. We still sing many of Makéts’awésąą’s songs today.
The Sweeney Creek area, like many others, is sacred to us because of the Dreamers who spent time there with our people.
Learn more about this special place including the stories and songs associated with it by visiting our Dane Wajich educational website here.