Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC)

Lhilheqey (Mount Cheam) Origin Story

The Story of Lhilheqey (Mount Cheam)

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[This story uses drawings and imagery to illustrate what is being described.]

[Aerial video of Mount Cheam]

This is the story of Lhilheqey, or the Legend of Mount Cheam. This story was told by Mrs. Cooper of Oliver Wells. Mount Cheam is a lady, and Mount Baker is a man. This is an old legend. So Mount Baker, he comes over, and he looks for a wife. And he finds a nice looking girl. So he takes her over to the state of Washington. They live there, and they have three boys. Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, and I can’t tell you what the other one is. And they have three girls, but the boys are the oldest ones. After the boys grew up and she had three little girls, she says, “I had better go back home”, she says, “to my people, to the Fraser River”. So she comes back and she says, “I’ll stand guard”, she says. “I’ll stand and guard the Fraser River that no harm comes to my people”. “And no harm comes to the fish that comes up to feed them”.

That’s the legend. And then she takes her three children and she stands up there, and coming down from up the road there’s three little points, and those three little points are her children. They say she holds the smallest one in her hand. Behind her, toward this way, is the head of the dog that followed her. And she told the dog to go back home, and it stood there, and stayed there. So I guess right now there, if the snow isn’t all off, you can see that dog head playing.