SHARING KNOWLEDGE ON THE SALISH WOOLLY DOG
Senaqwila Wyss, Indigenous Cultural Programmer from Squamish Nation, wants you to know more about the now-extinct Salish woolly dogs.
Recorded during the summer of 2021, Senaqwila’s six-part #WoolyWednesday series will highlight Salish perspectives and demystify colonial narratives, bringing forth the beautiful relationship the Salish nations had with their Salish woolly dogs.
The decline and eventual extinction of the Salish woolly dogs was the direct result of colonialism. Narratives in various academic and online sources claim that the Salish woolly dogs were bred into other breeds, and that the Salish people “gave up” on the dogs.
IMPACTS OF COLONIZATION LED TO EXTINCTION
Senaqwila Wyss, however, challenges these assumptions, arguing that the direct impacts of colonization, including the coinciding timelines of residential schools, the potlatch ban, and Government of Canada’s genocidal policies, were all contributing factors leading up to the extinction of the Salish woolly dog.
RELEASE OF SIX-PART #WOOLLYWEDNESDAY SERIES
Through the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (Squamish language), archival photos, and memes, Senaqwila Wyss bring us discourse on how culturally significant the dogs both were and still are today.
MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver is releasing the six-part series. You can watch the first recording below. Subscribe to MONOVA’s YouTube Channel to stay up-to-date.
“Through my different Indigenous communities, it has been shared with me that many communities actually had the RCMP or government kill the dogs on the shoreline. The Salish woolly dogs were part of the colonial genocide that happened to Indigenous peoples and this discussion series gave us an opportunity to talk about that in more detail.” – Senaqwila Wyss
Bring back the Salish woolly dogs
While genetic cloning may not be the answer, it is not impossible to bring these beloved pets, companions, ancestors, part of our communities since time immemorial
🤍 selective breeding methods could make it a possibility to have dogs that would closely resemble our Salish Woolly Dogs
🤍 they were succumbed to colonialism 💔 so many incidents, from forced oppression to the Salish communities that raised these beautiful pups to be companions as well as supply our weaving material by trimming their fur, leading to the introduced government to remove all cultural aspects that we held dearly. Not only were our ways of life a threat to the colonial views on Terra Nullius, but because our relationship to the land threatened the means for colonizers to take what was here and out a price tag to sell the land and remove everything on it, the woolly dogs were not only impacted by making sure they weren’t a threat to their salmon supply; they were killed on site on Salish communities shorelines.
Research the similar events that have taken place with the Buffalo Slaughter to impact indigenous communities, as well as sled dogs in indigenous communities. It’s very strategic systemic genocide 💔
The woolly dogs were driven to extinction through colonization, cutting off of Resoruces- salmon was a staple to Salish peoples and dogs alike.
The colonizers wanted to take every last salmon to put into a can and sell, meanwhile our traditions allowed us to prosper in fishing with strategic methods to ensure strong salmon runs the next years. Our teachings are rich with the thoughts of sustainability and reciprocity as the driving force, and not a careless afterthought.
While I never got to meet a Salish Woolly Dog since my time on earth; it is not too far of a dream, to make my ancestors dreams to come true, to bring back the Salish woolly dogs.
Long live Pa7Pa7iḵn, the fluffy hide dog, #SalishWoollyDogsForever 🤍🥰🐾
contact Senaqwila Wyss of Raven and Hummingbird Tea Co to quote, reference, and discuss further.