Jodi Rave: Commemorating the Swan Massacre
"A slight breeze moved through the Swan Valley, shaking the quaking aspen leaves like a thousand tambourines as heavy black moss hung from golden branches of tamarack, silent sentinels to a massacre site where a solemn group gathered Saturday to remember spirits of the past.

On a Sunday morning, 100 years ago, a peaceful Pend d'Oreille camp became a death scene for a family hunting deer and elk on treaty lands bordering the Flathead Reservation.

The date: Oct. 18, 1908.

The place: The upper Swan Valley near Holland Lake at a place the Salish and Pend d'Oreille called It Has Skunk Cabbage.

The time: The Salish, Kootenai and Pend d'Oreille tribes had signed the Hellgate Treaty 53 years earlier, a forced agreement that allowed them to hunt and fish on traditional lands bordering the newly created Flathead Reservation.

On Saturday, the Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee held two commemorative ceremonies, one at the massacre site, and another at a public event at Holland Lake, in honor of the eight-member hunting party, half of them killed by a state game warden who objected to the family hunting in the valley between the Mission and Swan mountain ranges.

“They stood for culture, a value system they lived every day,” Tony Incashola, tribal elder, told the group who gathered at It Has Skunk Cabbage. “When the treaty was signed, they trusted they could hunt and gather in their aboriginal territory without fear.”"

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Jodi Rave: Ceremony commemorates 100th anniversary of Swan Massacre (The Missoulian 10/19)