The landscape of Húy̓at
is dotted today with the remnants of our time spent there during Smokehouse Days. In many places, the layers of ancient house platforms later became the foundations for our historic homes – reflecting our tangible and enduring connections to the broader Húy̓at landscape.
Clarence Martin’s and Johnny Humchitt's map of family smokehouses in Húy̓at.
Many Elders fondly remember their time in Húy̓at as youth - days full of catching and processing the abundant salmon, gathering berries, and play. It was a time away from the restrictive life imposed by residential schools – a time when they could speak their language and learn Heiltsuk ways.
"Along the riverbank. It was a village on its own with an average of 10 to 20 people. That would be a 100 people, any given time on that beach. All smoking fish... The fires never went out and I seen 1400 salmon smoking at one time."
- Ed Martin Sr.
"It was all smokehouses all the way in there. Olden days."
- Fred Reid
"That was heaven for me. Just the camaraderie of family. The feeling of Granny and Beatrice, Nancy, and Mom and Dad. You know, we just, ‘We're in this together. We're doing this together... for the long term. That's work hard and enjoy it.’ That's the feeling I had there. I couldn't wait to get there."
- Yím̓ás Q̓vúmán̓akvla Wilfred Humchitt
Gíƛa Elroy White, at the second smokehouse camp of his great-grandfather Albert Jr. and his great-grandmother Louisa Humchitt. (Photo courtesy Elroy White)