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CHIEF MARILYN FURLAN 

ORAL PRESENTATION BY CHIEF MARILYN FURLAN:

CHIEF FURLAN: Madam Chair and Panel, welcome.

My name is Marilyn Edith Furlan nee Paul. I was born in Bella Bella in 1948. I was raised in Kemano, Kitlope, Kitamaat Village, Butedale, and Port Simpson.

My father is Chief Gupsgolox, Dan Paul Senior of Kitlope. My mother, Mujive Wigadof (ph) Edith Paul of the Beaver Clan. My father is in the Eagle Clan.

My traditional name is Pulth Xa-Leeth (ph), which means it is the abalone shells imbedded on the outside of the canoe. My sisters is Pulth Ha-Neeks (ph), which is the abalone shells imbedded on the inside of the canoe.

My name came from my great-great grandmother mama’u Annie Putlh, of Hinaxula Kitlo. She passed away in 1966. We believe she was pretty close to 114 years old when she passed away in our Kitimat hospital here in Kitimat.

I once asked mama’u, “Do you know when your birth date is?” She said all she knows is what her mother told her, that she was born when the berries were starting to get right and it was probably around June or July.

My name was given to me by my grandmother in a feast hall. Emily Amos baptized me at that feast.

I am the member of the Eagle Clan under Chief Gupsgolox, Dan Paul Senior.

I want to go back to Kitlope where my forefathers are from. Kitlope River is a water that comes right from the glacier. It is very, very blue. The borderline when you see that water, a blue water, istamas (ph), and that’s where the water meets the borderline of the Hinaxula meet at the mouth of Gardner to Haisla waters, the colour changes.

If you ever get a chance please go to visit. Your experience is a peaceful cleansing spirits when you come out of there. You wash your face in that glacier blue water and it’s to be — and you are protected while you’re there. You enter without animosity.

My grandmother, mama’u, used to tell us stories around when she was mending an eulachon net or making an eulachon net, in Kitlope when a boat started coming in where sockeye that was dried in the sun and it was very, very red, as you can see it when you’re going in, each clan had an area for their own to dry their fish as you’re coming out — along the Kitlope — Kemano.

My grandmother, mama’u Annie Pulth, she never believed in taking fire — firewood — taking trees down for firewood. Every time after a high tide she would go — we’d walk along the beaches of Kemano and we’d pick up a driftwood, put it on top of the logs, wait for it to dry out, go back and pick those logs up to burn for firewood, and also for smoking.

She taught me how to identify ghlksam, ebaum (ph), that’s carrots and buttercup roots, in the back of our home in Kemano. You dry them or you boil them fresh. She always used to tell me that “You learn from this. You watch and you learn.” She was always so afraid of a war breaking out. She said when the maniwa come in you’ll never starve.

She didn’t believe in wasting any kind of fish. We ate everything on that fish. Goat meat, the fat off the goat, she’d take it off, take it into the smoke house and dry it. I had to taste everything. There was nothing that I couldn’t say “No, thank you”.

The seal that was outside in Kemano, the ducks, if we wanted that, we needed that, they’d hunt right out on the front of our village. We only hunted what we could eat for that time.

As a little girl we would sit around while she was making eulachon net and annoosa and tell stories about the fishing that she used to do. She used to go down to — go as far as Seattle by canoe. It used to take them two weeks to get there in Butedale. And she’d always come back with beads — necklaces from the First Nations down there for me.

We harvested the cedar bark and she would make cedar baskets out of them. As a little girl I remember her giving me little baskets. Every year as I grew up she made another basket big enough for me.

Mama’u also took me on her dugout canoe that she made herself to go and harvest some clams, some cockles. My favourite was always mussels. She would take the (inaudible), the dried fish, smoked fish and put it in a cedar box for our winter food. We’d always have that with the oil, the eulachon grease..

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