This year was not a good year for blueberries in my area. I remember three years ago in 2017, there were so many berries that were still on the plants in mid to late September. Large bunches of berries literally falling off the plants when you touched them. My daughter and I went for a long walk that time, and we had our fill of large soft blueberries by the time we were done.
I remember as a boy in Hall Lake, my good buddy and I were admiring our momma’s buckets of blueberries. We decided to get some of our own. We grabbed margarine containers from the cupboards and off we went. We knew the general area where they got their berries from.
We did not venture very far when we came upon a natural garden of blueberries, just bursting off the plants. Okay, maybe not that many but there were plenty. We filled up our containers quickly and picked some to eat right off the shrubs. On our way home, we came to a large gravel pit and walked along the edge with our containers on hand.
As we worked our way down the pit, my buddy tripped over a rock or something. You could see the concerned look on his face as he held up his container and managed not to drop one berry when he hit the ground. We both started laughing. He was okay, he did not get hurt. He would have been hurt if he spilled all his berries, but he was fine.
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.
In one of my classes at Nortep/Norpac, we have been learning about Indigenous Law and it mainly deals with understanding the concepts of Aboriginal law. It’s a vibrant class with much discussion on current events and the impact on Aboriginals and mainstream society.
We were asked to do a case commentary on Metis or Tsilhqot’in cases from 2014. I chose to do Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia because many of the students had already chosen the Metis decision.
A few weeks earlier, I watched several videos of the case and viewed mainly interviews of First Nations people and how pleased and excited they were over the victory in the Supreme Court of Canada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4D85H7lQxE
The Tsilhqot’in Nation have title on 1750 square KM of land west of Williams Lake. Good stuff.
I learned many important facts in this class pertaining to Aboriginal law. Studying for the final exam gave me much insight on the issues we face as First Nations people and other aboriginal groups. I enjoyed the many subjects in this class and they provide relevance to many of my other classes.
Here is an example of what was expected on our final exam (I do not provide my answers here):
Chapter 5: Crown Obligations
The Honour of the Crown – 3 distinct branches of Crown obligations: Treaty Obligations, Fiduciary Duty and Duty to Consult
Chapter 7: Metis Rights
The Court identified three broad factors: self-identification, ancestral connection to the historic Métis community, and community acceptance.
The difference between Metis Rights and Treaty Rights
Chapter 8: Federalism/Constitutional Issues
The Implications of the Division of Powers on Aboriginal Peoples.
How to amend the constitution
Chapter 9: Aboriginal Women
What are the ways aboriginal women have been discriminated against by the Canadian Government?
Chapter 10: Child Welfare
Contemporary Realities, Best Interest of the Child, Challenges of Aboriginal Control, Customary Child and Family Relations
Chapter 12: Aboriginal People and the Criminal Justice
The Failure of Criminal Law for Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal Traditions and Justice, Reforming the Criminal Justice System, Aboriginal Justice Systems, High incarceration rate
All these subjects are very important in our immediate current events of Aboriginal people. I’m glad I decided to go back to classes because I lost sight of many things regarding our struggles as First Nations people.
We need to learn to move on from the past transgressions and thrive as a people once again. Hate and distain from our past wounds only serves to undermine our progress. However, it is important to know what happened to us and what is happening now to assert ourselves and to get on with our lives.