North Richmond Urban Nature Loop Point of Interest #18
Wildcat Creek was once a source of survival for the indigenous tribes located near the creek. Listening to indigenous ancestral stories helps us understand the importance of our creeks. The text below was developed with our Tribal Consultants from the Confederated Villages of Lisjan.
Wildcat Creek was a source of food and water. Often the native people would get their nutrients from the bass and steelhead that once spawned in this creek. The freshwater that once flowed through this creek was drinkable for humans; it was a healthy habitat for many species. Native people would collect materials for traditional basketry weaving and medicinal plants for health issues. Additionally, many locations along the creek were sacred for indigenous tribes, and time spent at the creek was an opportunity to connect with each other and nature.
Nowadays, this section of the creek no longer attracts animals nor provides plants that are significant for the native people. Many portions of Wildcat Creek have become privatized, and hidden from the public. It will take time to restore this section, but the mission is to reintroduce this land to families, reconnect them to nature and continue to share the history of Wildcat Creek.
Check out The Watershed Project’s illustrated interactive children’s storybook – Kiyana and the Wildcat Creek, with English and Spanish versions. It tells the story of a group of local kids getting to know the creek (at the specific location you are standing in right now!) and their efforts to get organized and restore it. Some native plants and animals are mentioned with their Chochenyo names, and if you click on the circles next to these names, you can listen to our tribal partners reading them and learn to pronounce them.
To view the full Tribal Representatives Interview click here.