Mary Thomas talked about the deterioration of root digging grounds many years ago: “Everything is deteriorating – the surface of the soil where we used to gather our food, there’s about 4-6 inches of thick, thick sod and all introduced. And on top of that the cattle walk on it, and it’s packing it to the point where there’s very little air goes into the ground, very little rain, and it’s choking out all the natural foods, and it’s going deeper and deeper, and the deeper they go, the smaller they’re getting.”
Since 2011 the Switzmalph Cultural Society has been working on the Shuswap Delta-Salmon River restoration and riparian planting projects with The Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Fencing and riparian planting is mitigating the damage caused by cattle over the years to the Delta meadows and fish habitat. Previous initiatives laid the groundwork for a collaboration with Secwepemc Fisheries Commission which commenced last fall.
This collaboration is important as SFC are supporting SCS to move forward with the original goals of the Society to fulfill Mary’s Thomas’s dream and this will lead to the implementation of some of the programs defined sixteen years ago . The work that will be carried out this year will lead to funded permanent employment opportunities in 2017.