Echoes of Yesterday, By Lon Gibby Productions

Echoes of Yesterday, by Lon Gibby Productions

This is a documentary that tells an important part of the History of Washington State and the local Native people. It is about a reclamation project headed by my dad, Howard T. Ball, founder of Ball and Dodd Funeral Home in Spokane, Washington. He was in charge of relocating the native graves that were going to be covered by water when Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State was built. (The lake that was created was called Lake Roosevelt.) All of the sacred burial sites would be relocated before the dam was finished. He removed just over 1300 graves. He hired mostly Indian labor and worked closely with the native people and their chief, who were able to find the remains, and relocate them in new cemeteries established above the pending water line. The water would later rise 1300 feet above the normal level of the Columbia River. During this reclamation project he became a friend of Jim James, who was the Chief of the San Poil people. (San Poil is one of the Colville Confederated Tribes)  Chief James taught Dad how to find many of the old burial sights.

Chief, Jim James, Howard T. Ball, Henry Covington

Howard T. Ball (top row, right) with Chief Jim James (bottom row, right)
and friends and family

Dad took pictures and movies of the entire project. This video was later made by Lon Gibby Productions from his original film, taken in 1939. You will see my dad interviewed in this amazing documentary of this important part of North American history.

The video shows many of the pictures and film taken at Kettle Falls where Native People had fished for generations. This location was considered a sacred place, and if anyone passed away while fishing at Kettle Falls, they were buried above the fishing grounds.

This evacuation was a huge loss for all of the local tribes of the region – the loss of their fishery, and the salmon that had fed their people for centuries.

In 1940, the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest gathered in remembrance, and mourned the loss of their ancestral fishing grounds. The gathering lasted for three days and was called “The Ceremony of Tears”.

It was estimated that eight to ten thousand people attended. Thus, this video shows the impact that the Grand Coulee Dam had on the Native People.

Purchase this video here: Echoes of Yesterday

See my blog post and a poem that I wrote as a tribute to the Indian people of this region. Ceremony of Tears, The Building of Grand Coulee Dam and a Tribute to the Local Indian People 

Nature Quote, By Joseph Campbell

The goal of life is to
make your heartbeat
match the beat
of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature.
~Joseph Campbell

Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, Spokane, Washington

Spokane, Washington became a city in 1891. For hundreds of years, long before the City of Spokane existed, the Native People camped and fished at the falls on the Spokane River. The salmon would swim over the falls to go back to the their spawning ground. The young Indian men built ramps that would go out over the falls in order to catch the salmon. They would then pass the salmon over to the women and children waiting on the shore. The women and children would then clean the fish and lay them out to dry. Many families would come to the falls to share in the gathering of the salmon. It was a grand celebration of abundance and unity.

Spokane, Washington, Peaceful Valley, 1925
Monroe Street Bridge in the background

The Spokane area native people are blessed to host a Pow Wow and dance in this location, which is now Spokane’s Riverfront Park. Here, they continue to celebrate and honor the past. This beautiful and lively celebration is open to the public. For more information : Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow

Talking with Spokane’s Mayor, David Condon

I take part in this celebration almost every year. We dance to give thanks for the gift of the salmon, and the beauty of the rushing water; thanking our Creator for all that He gives to those of us who follow His path. The dances have been learned and passed on to people for many generations. This makes this a sacred place to gather with common unity.

 Melvin Ellenwood, Tom Wesley, Howard Ball

Sale! Medium-Toned Poplar Native American Flute

Update: This flute is SOLD! 

This beautiful, six hole, poplar flute, tuned in the key of C is on sale! The regular price is $125. I have marked it down to $95. Purchase Here 

For more marked down flutes visit my Specials page!

Adopt the Pace of Nature

Adopt the pace of nature:
her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My Thoughts: My Flute Song is a Prayer of Thanks

Wood is an awesome resource for which I am incredibly grateful. When I stop and look around, I realize so many of the things that we all enjoy and use every day of our lives come from wood. Trees supply so many of our basic needs. Our homes, furniture, and many of our household tools are created from wood. I love playing an instrument that is created from this gift from God.

When I play my flute the song that comes out of the flute is my prayer, giving thanks to God for the trees and all of the truly beautiful and amazing things in nature that he gives us.

My Thoughts: Listen to Nature

Take time to listen to what nature has to say –
the wind in the trees,
the thunder during the storm,
the sound of the rain,
the rush of a stream as the water runs over the rocks.
Listen to the voices of the animals –
the song of the birds,
and of those that crawl,
and of those that swim – they all have a voice.
All of creation can be heard in nature.
~Howard Ball