Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Yaya’s Trunk: Stories from past

“Like Heck You Didn't”
By Lailani Upham

PABLO — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Social Service’s Circle of Trust Program is launching a new column called “Yaya’s Trunk” in the Char-Koosta News that will be featured every week for the Positive Indian Parenting curriculum.

The column will be a collection of stories from community members to carry on the teachings and stories of the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreille. The stories reinforce the value of traditional beliefs and practices in daily lives of the families that are served, according to Mary Jane Charlo, Circle of Trust Youth Activities Coordinator.

CSKT Positive Parenting would like to urge community elders and parents to share their stories from years back, or any experience to help build a connection to the now and the past.

Charlo adds that a person who previously wrote a story can send in another story if they wish. “There is no limit on how many stories one person submits,” she stated.

The personal short stories will be included in the curriculum of the program in the context of teaching mindfulness and to strengthen youth connection to tribal culture by naturally introducing practices and stories of native tradition, Charlo says.

“Your stories don’t have to be remarkable or heart stopping, just something taught you or learned something from it, and how to be a good person.”

Charlo says the staff is ready to help anyone write their story if they choose to simply tell it. She said the staff understand there are some folks that don’t feel comfortable writing. It is more important that the stories are carried down to the next generation she says.

Old photos are appreciated with stories submitted.

To contribute stories, please call Mary Jane Charlo at (406) 675-2700, ext. 1333; or email at

This week’s story comes from Phillip Barnaby.

“Ok here’s my story. Years ago I think we were around 10 to11 years old we lived up on the North side of town in Mission. Anyway, we would come home from school, and our dad would be tacking a beaver pelt to big piece of plywood, and then he would put on top of the back roof of the house and he would have like maybe five or six of them up there. Well years later, me and my brothers Martin and Tony were at our Grandma’s on Dirty Corner sweating with our dad, at the family sweat house behind our grandma’s house. As we were laying there I asked him what he did with that meat from the beaver’s and he said, “’You kids ate it.’ And I told him, ‘Like heck we did,’ and he just laughed and said, ‘Like heck you didn’t, how do you think we survived back then?’

Shay-hoy. Whis-chis-Tah”

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