The q̕ɬúməčən (Blackfish) Story

as told by Adeline Smith

This story is about a Klallam man named Pysht Jack. During the turn of the century when people helped each other, at this time he had a relative who was a widow with several children, so he always helped her. She caught a lot of fish and at that time, Victoria was the only big city around, and most of the Indians traded over there.

So from the mouth of the Elwha, he brought that woman across to Victoria. As they were traveling, the weather was stormy. When they arrived in Victoria, they sold their fish. When it was time to come back, the storm really hit and they thought surely they were going to drown. The lady that was with him, she started praying and chanting for the blackfish to come and help them. In those times, there were only certain people who could speak to the blackfish. It wasn’t very long while she was meditating that the blackfish all appeared and surrounded the canoe that they were on and brought them clear across to the mouth of the Elwha River. She thanked the blackfish and then the blackfish left. It is always said by Klallam people that the blackfish are our friends.