I have developed a YouTube video of one of my original First Nation Stories, Joe and the Stranger. It took many, many hours and it is a project that I have wanted to do since late spring of 2022.
It is the first of its kind on my YouTube Channel, there is bound to be an error or two but hopefully, they are at a minimum.
I am hoping to learn much more about video and YouTube channels. I want to try new ideas when my creativity starts to bubble (is that a good word?). I have used many images and other videos to help develop this video and relearned a few things from my Flash development days (Adobe Flash has been renamed Animate, I have it at work).
“niwī atāwākān nitahcahk simāk kita takosiniyān itī kāwīkiyān.” – I will sell my soul to get home now.
“tānisi cō, tāpwī kayās.” – How are you Joe, it has been a long time. Says, the stranger.
“awinōma kītha?” – Who are you?
“cō, īmowī nihtāwikīn kāki wāpamitān, ikospi kākī nitowithihtamān kitahcahk.” – Joe, I saw you before you were born, since then, I wanted your soul.
“namwāc kiwī mīthitin kīkway.” – I will not give you anything.
“kiwi asotamātin kīkway cō, māka kita mīthin kitahcahk” – I will offer you something Joe, but you must give me your soul.
“tānihkōma cō?” – What is the matter Joe?
“namwāc!” – No!
“kihtwām kawāpamatin cō.” – I will see you again Joe. Poof, he disappears.
Good morning from La Ronge, to all my followers. I have been working on a story for about three years. I am only at 6000 words. The pandemic had wiped out much of my creativity, however, I am finally feeling it again.
My story was at 5000 words this past March, but I ended up with the dreaded writer’s block. Last night I managed to add another 1000 words. I am not sure at this point what number I will am aiming for. At the beginning, my goal was 5000, but that is not enough to tell the story that has been in my head for the last 25 years or so.
I had hand-written the story probably in my early twenties. I was proud of it and wished at the time, that I could get illustrations for it. Unfortunately, I lost the original hand-written story. I had planned to type the original story with a typewriter or computer, if I could get my hands on one.
I hoped to publish it someday, but I did not have any connections to any writers. I had access to Readers Digest magazines and they had writing contests all the time. I think they may accepted hand-written submissions I cannot be sure. The story was about 22 pages of my messy writing. I am currently at 20 pages with size 12 font in Times New Roman, double-spaced.
I had always wanted to publish a book or even an anthology of short-stories. I imagined the book or books would be extremely successful. I dreamed that it would be the only job I would ever need to support myself. Things happen in life that do not always go the way you want. I did not want to let go of the dream.
The early 2000s were a little rough, but I did manage to write several stories. I had access to a computer because of an Information Technology program I applied for. I learned to build basic websites with HTML and I loved it. I even built a faux website that I called “Charlie’s Written Works.”
The website presented my stories, poems and songs that I had written. In 2009, First Nation Stories was launched to a very tepid response., but I was proud.
I am still pursuing my dream to have a book published. I have so many stories in my head that need to be “let out,” so to speak. I have mentioned this on a Facebook status of a great writer and all he said was “write.” Straight to point, but very powerful. This happened two-weeks ago and I am finally following his advice. I will “write,” what is in my head.
I have spent too much time worrying about the format and the organization of the story’s chapters. I wish I could have just written the story on and on. Of course, it’s not too late to do so. I just have to be more diligent.
This is a call for stories on trapline cabins. I want you to share stories of your time in a trapline cabin. All stories are welcome. It would be great to hear about your time in a trapline cabin. You can write about anything you want from how and when it was built, or maybe just the times your family traveled to the cabin during certain seasons. While I would like to publish all stories, there are a few guidelines I would like to inform you about.
I cannot offer remuneration or a prize, but I will publish shared stories as deemed appropriate.
I will give full credit and a link to your Facebook profile.
It needs to be between 150 to 1000 words. I can be flexible on this, in the case of several short stories, I will combine stories into one page on the website.
Appropriate language is encouraged
Happy stories are encouraged but sad stories will not be refused
Deadline is March 27, 2020, but I will add stories before that date over the weekends.
No real need to be formal, but I will make minor edits if needed. This is a story telling website, not an English class.
Please inbox me your stories and I will reply during evenings and weekends. I am a full-time teacher and I do not go on Facebook during the day. You can also email me the original document to firstname.lastname@example.org Please write subject as “trapline cabin”
Just a note that this is not a contest, it is more of a chance to share your story with us.
A big thank you to Tom Ballantyne for giving me the idea. I hope you decide to share your story with us at some point.
Growing in La Ronge, Pesiw Lake and Hall Lake, I never heard of the term, Treaty 6 Territory. I would hear of Treaty Days and I enjoyed the events that would happen on that day. The whole community would get together and have events such as sack races, plank races and various other fun events. I do not remember hearing about the numbered treaties until I was in grade 10, at Sally Ross School, where I now teach grades 5 and 6.
I have taught my students about treaty 6, where and when it was signed, and about the year our band, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB), signed an adhesion in 1889. I have showed them the poster of the timeline of chiefs, which is available on the LLRIB website – History of the LLRIB Chiefs. I showed them the videos on the page to make them more aware of our first chief, Chief James Roberts and where he is buried. A few students were actually at the headstone ceremony this past summer. The ceremony is also on video, on the linked page.
The students were engaged and very interested in the information. Questions came up such as, what I remember about the previous chiefs and which ones I met. I told them I had met Harry Cook when he was chief and that former chief, Miles Venne came to my high school graduation in 1995 at Senator Myles Venne School. For some reason, his first name was misspelled, but I have not asked about it either.
Books were more about the southern Saskatchewan Indians regarding the buffalo and the hardships of land being stolen and ripped away from them. After hearing so much about the atrocities of the treaty signings and the lies perpetuated by the government, I started to wonder about our history, where do we fit, in the timeline of Indigenous events.
I completed the work for the LLRIB during my time as web developer. Recently, I decided to go to an outside source for more information that I may not have heard about. I asked a friend of mine, Samuel A. Hardlotte, about what he knows of the treaty signing, below was his response:
Our 1889 Adhesion to Treaty 6 was signed at the North end of Montreal Lake it was Not signed at molanosa. The settlement of molanosa did not exist in 1889 and it later began when some white men, began harvesting trees in that area and set up a sawmill, inland, from Montreal Lake. Our Acting Chief Sam Roberts, Hope and I visited Little Hills on Sept. 28th/19 to commemorate the historic event of the very 1st Annuity Payments. Tubby Bell was the person that took us out there. It was an emotional day for all of us. It was also an honour to be at Little Hills on that day.
Mr. Hardlotte is very passionate about the history of our Treaty 6 Territory. I joined him and his wife, Hope, with the Treaty Day display at the JRMCC, where they handed out T-shirts marking the anniversary of the treaty adhesion.
It was a showcase of historical documents, pictures and articles about LLRIB. It was very informative, and I did my part by displaying the video or our history on a projection screen.
I had an interesting but friendly debate with Hope during the event. She said that the separation of Stanley Mission in 1910, meant that they should not be included in the timeline of chiefs because in 1900, Peter Ballantyne separated from the Paylist to form their own band under his name, and they are not on the timeline. I argued (in a nice way, lol) that Peter Ballantyne Band is not in the timeline because they did not rejoin us at some point like Stanley Mission did. Anyway, it was a good discussion. Discussions and debates should be encouraged without the bitterness of arguments and escalated disagreements.
I am sure there is more to our history that has not been written, I hope one of these days that there is a project set up, to gather this information and present it for free, to all our schools, the LLRIB membership and the general public.
nimosōm – my grandfather used to tell me so many stories about people that lived here or near here. He was a great storyteller and may have taken many liberties with the details. I loved to hear those stories and made my imagination very active with thought and wonder. I give credit to those stories to the storytelling I do with this website, passing on a tradition in a modern way. I also used to tell stories to my children off the top of my head, just to entertain them. I have forgotten more stories than I have on this website.
I remember one story about Hall Lake, where he told me that when he arrived on the lake from a portage, he heard a moose splashing around the shore of the lake. He went further and heard another moose going into the lake in another part of the lake. He heard one more near the mouth of one of the rivers, we have two but he didn’t say which one. I could not imagine that happening in this day and age, nor the time he was telling me the story because there were already many houses and people on the reserve. By the way, Hall Lake in Cree, is mōso-sākahikanisīsihk, according to my late grandfather.
As a boy, kāmikiskak – freeze-up time, was hit and miss at the trapline because during October we had to stay on land. Sometimes we were grounded for weeks on end. One year, we were actually at the trapline for Halloween. nimosōm ikwa nōhkom – my grandfather and grandmother, kept bringing up cīpay tipiskāw – Halloween (literal translation is ghost night).
There would be the talk of ghosts coming around and how they would move things or make noises in the dark corners of the cabins. It was all very scary for a boy and my imagination ran wild with fear when I thought too much of it. My father had made us a bunk bed and I got the top of this makeshift bunkbed.
That night, I kept thinking of all the little things that I heard that day about ghosts and demons and started imagining these things. Suffices it to say, I had a very scary night that night and wanted so bad to sleep so it would be over and done with.
kāmikiskak – freeze-up time
cīpay tipiskāw wanihikīskanahk – Halloween at the Trapline
cīpay tipiskāw – Halloween (literal translation is ghost night)
I remember as a boy watching wrestling with my parents, along with nisīmisak – my younger siblings. There was this Hawaiian wrestler named Dean Ho and his buddy Moondog Moretti. Dean was an old man by that time, but he was the main good guy. I must have been 5 years old at the time, it is mostly a blur but the times he won his matches were exciting because we were all cheering for the good guy.
There was another wrestler, but I cannot remember his name. He was an “Indian” wrestler, an Indian or First nations. He would get the beat down but then a drum would start beating in the background and it would give him “power” to get out of the hold. Great times to be a wrestling fan. This was all on a channel from British Columbia called All-Star Wrestling.
As I got older, I noticed another Native wrestler, his name was Wahoo McDaniel. He had a spectacular presence and a “tomahawk chop” that almost broke the sternum of any hapless man to get in the way. In 1986, he had this memorable feud with a Russian wrestler named Nikita Koloff. The feud was called the “tomahawk” vs. the “sickle,” which was a reference to the Russian sickle on the flag. I searched for this match online to no avail, so sad.
They both had their titles on the line, the National Champion, Wahoo and the United States Champion, Nikita. The winner would then amalgamate the titles into one because the company thought there were too many belts on TV, WTBS channel. I personally thought Wahoo should have kept the title because it was cool to have an “Indian” as champion. I could not find a free image of Wahoo, but at the bottom of this blog, there is an embed video of Wahoo vs Ric Flair in a “chop” battle.
I had such high hopes for a Wahoo win, but he was beaten. Wahoo was in the twilight of his long successful career and the so-called, Russian Nightmare, Nikita Koloff, was hotter that a firecracker on the fourth of July. He was being groomed for bigger things and Wahoo was used as a steppingstone, which I am sure he gladly did because even he knew that he had to job to the raising young star.
He wrestled 10 more years until his retirement in 1996. Unfortunately, he died of kidney failure “on April 18, 2002 at the age of 63” (https://wrestlerdeaths.com/wahoo-mcdaniel-death/). He left a great legacy for other Native American wrestlers such as Tatanka, who went on to became one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the 90s.
Today we had the first major snowfall in Hall Lake. I woke up to the world covered in snow. I almost posted a picture for my FB friends who do not have a window but that is a joke I overused already, and I don’t want to get banned from Facebook.
I took a few pictures that I will show here, on my website because I love showing my pictures on my website as opposed to just uploading them to FB. It gives me more control over my own content. I like my intellectual property to stay mine, but I have given up many pictures to Facebook. I just need to keep my tech skills sharp in case they are needed again to make a living.
I remember as a boy looking out at the landscape at the trapline and watching the first fall of snow, I would always get a lonely feeling from it. It reminded me of the old Hank Williams song that my uncle Abel used to sing, “At the First Fall of Snow.” I can still hear him singing and walking along the trail to nimosōm’s cabin. My uncle is still alive today and he lives just down the road. I still see him walking from time to time, but he doesn’t sing anymore.
This reminds me that I have some stories I wanted to share about my uncle, but I will have to ask him first. Maybe he has some ideas too about what I can write, thank you for visiting.