Framed Art Card - Under a Salish Moon (12" x 9")

Artist: Andy Everson

Traditionally, the Comox Valley has always been home to the Pentlatch First Nation. Although unique, the Pentlatch language is, nonetheless, related to all other Salishan languages, much like French is related to Spanish and Italian. In the mid 1800s, speakers of the Island Comox dialect of the Comox language—also Salishan—moved into the Comox Valley and intermarried with the remaining Pentlatch peoples. Thus, the present members of the Comox First Nation are descended not only from Comox speakers, but Pentlatch speakers, as well.

Although we have also intermarried and adopted many traditions from the Kwakwaka’wakw to the north, we have also held onto facets of our Coast Salish identity. Sometimes I look up to the sky and see a Kwakwaka’wakw moon. Occasionally, however, I’ll see the moon of my Pentlatch and Comox ancestors and rest easy under a Salish moon.

During the summer months, my daughter Claire and I like to climb up the bluffs at Goose Spit in Comox. The large midden area at the site indicates to me that there was a significant settlement at this location for quite some time and was likely a defensive site typical to this region. We enjoy our times “hiking” the small trail and picking flowers along the way. If we hit the time just right, we can see the moon slowly inching its way around the bluffs before it gets dark.

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