Virginia Beavert: My First Experience With the River

In this video, Dr. Virginia Beavert talks about her grandmother and growing up on the river.

Bio: Virginia Beavert received her Doctorate in Linguistics from the University of Oregon and teaches her native language, Ichishkin. Virginia Beavert, a member of the Yakama Nation, is a highly respected teacher and fluent speaker of her language, Yakama Sahaptin (Ichishkíin Sɨ́nwit)c. She was a key planner of the Yakama exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, and has served on numerous committees and planning councils related to the documentation and preservation of Native languages. ( She grew up learning Nez Perce, and also Klickitat, Umatilla and Yakama dialects of Sahaptin. A respected Yakama elder, she has made invaluable contributions to Confluence at the Sacajawea Park Story Circles project, and the Vancouver Land Bridge.

Transcription: And she knew everything. And I often wondered where she learned all those things. She was teaching everyone that lived there the Klickitat way of doing things. And she’s the one that I first started going to the river with when I was little yet. And we went over to what they call the Little White Salmon River. She had a dry shack there. And my job was to run around and gather little sticks for the fire for smoking her salmon. That’s when the dog salmon type, you know. And I barely remember but I knew where the camp was. I know where it is now. That was my first experience with the River, really.

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