Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 9: Soil Ingestion Research Project ~ Cold Lake First Nations (English Bay)

Day 9 (Thursday):

I caught Angelle of guard, she's usually
smiling (hee, hee) ~ she's watching...
water boil (lol).
Today wasn’t a busy day for picking.  It was on the schedule but everyone was kind of all over the place & had things to do.  Today was laundry day for a few of us, so Angelle (my other female participant), Graham, & I went to town & did our laundry in the morning after breakfast.  I never eat breakfast like this at home, every morning we get eggs, potatoes, bacon/sausage/ham, & sometimes toast made over the camp fire.  I defiantly have to get me one of those six bread camp fire toasters hmmm good.  The only thing that turned me off from toast for a few days was because on the day before on whitefish & sucker fish day, it was all cooked on the camp fire grill & we made toast for breakfast the next day & Angelle & I could taste fish toast ;/ ~ not tooo tastely…however, the breakfasts show hold you over until lunch & usually eat pretty light…a sandwich & fruit.

Anyways, enough about food (hee hee).  As I was saying, it was laundry day & when we got there, we did our usual thing, you do at a laundry mat but the thing about the Rez so close, you see people you know & get to chatting.  It was nice to see Homer Janvier & his wife, I hadn’t seen them in a while since Christmas.  The cool thing about waiting for laundry, I got caught up on transferring pictures to my computer etc, Angelle got caught up on the facebook news flashes, & Graham was being his studious student self & reading a novel…he is a very pleasant and respectful young man.  He is the same age as my son, Germain (25 years old), & I have a tendency to treat him the way I mother Germain…he says I’m “such a mother”, roles his eyes, & laughs. 

We are all so close these days & really have bonded.  So much that Graham is starting to speak back to me & I have to put him in his place every so often (laughing jokingly)... just kidding but we are pretty comfortable in our little camp community by Sardine Lake (lol) ~ Angelle & I joke around saying we are going to use one of our airbeds & float on Sardine Lake & tan (lol ~ it’s more like a big slough hee, hee) because we so miss being by Cold Lake.

After we got back from camp, Muskrat Warrior took Angelle to see his half Wolf & Husky cross German Shepard week old puppies.  Her & I were scheduled to go gathering again, so I waiting in the E-bay Community Centre (for wireless Internet) & I got caught up on my blog postings, chatting with Auntie Melanie, & Tom Piche. 

I am so glad Angelle is here with me, we make a great team
gathering food & medicines ~ it's all about a woman's
touch, the female Elder, Mary said that's why woman are
the gathers & men the hunters...two different temperaments
for each :)
We didn’t end up going out today so I hung around camp & tidied up, helped organize the kitchen with Angelle, &  visited with our few Elder regulars like Dennis from down the road, he says he’s going to miss us & he’s so hooked on the mint tea.  I like his company, he is such a funny man & we likes teasing each other & joking around.  He plays cards with Pakan and/or John now.

It was pretty much an uneventful day except Dr. Jules Blais (opps it wasn’t spelled "Jewels") received the wrong package (ordered calibration parts for air testing machine) but was given someone else’s package (HP toners) instead.  I told them that that’s the thing about small towns (even though Cold Lake is a city but still has a country setting), people can be pretty trusting & slack with IDentification.  It’s good sometimes because you get that personable trusting atmosphere but sometimes errors are made…when Jules returned from his meeting in St. Paul Tribal Chiefs Ventures, they eventually found out the package won’t be in until Monday.  Graham is so hoping it will be in so he can test the air quality in high risk areas.

On our 1st day gathering, Ryan getting
ready to pick his heart out & Graham
looking all studious (hee, hee) in his
cool rubber boots & mosom hat :)
That’s another thing that’s cute, Jules has no sense of direction, I gave him a clear idea of how to get to St. Paul & back but he got lost for a bit…he did eventually get back.  Graham says we all have different strengths!  It is cute though :).  I guess Jules did have an unscheduled tour & maybe got to see more of our beautiful land, he did; however, get to see where I live & our beautiful Kehewin lake.  Now he knows where we get that awesome honey he likes & those tasty blueberries Kenny is supposed to bring tomorrow.

I hope Germain & Darilyn come out to help gather & maybe hunt some large game.  I made sure to get all the bullets for all three guns, the 243, the 22, & the 20 gauge.  I laughed though when I went to Canadian Tire with Angelle & Graham for bullets.  Graham was telling the others, at camp, later that I just gave the girl at Canadian Tire a hard time on Treatys (lol).  He said, “geez, I felt for the lady, she didn’t know what to say & I think she was scared to get you mad”….we had a good laugh, I told him, “you should see if I’m out in a restaurant & they mess up my order (hahaha).  He said,
“oh my god, you’re one for those people” (laughing).

Back to the Canadian Tire lady.  Here’s me, “Can I have some 243 shells, please”, do you have your Firearms Card (FAC)” she says without a smile.  I tell her, “yes I do but I will show you my Treaty Card first then my FAC because you should be asking me for my Treaty Card first then my FAC.  My Treaty Card is what matters first anyways because it’s my Treaty Right to hunt & buy bullets.  I just thought you should know incase you get people who come in here & get on you about Treaty Rights”.  She looks at me not knowing what to say, then points to the FAC Sticker on the gun case & says she is only asked to ask for this card.  I tell her, “I know that but you should really be aware of Treaty because you will get people in here who will show this card because it’s more valid than this FAC anyways”.  She just gives me the bullets & guides me to the front so the cashier can scan my purchase.  I just had to educate the poor girl (hee hee), save her some of the trouble of blind ignorance about us Treaty people surrounding the city of Cold Lake.  Hey, if you haven’t even read Treaty #6, I invite you too…it sure isn’t the Indian Act,  It’s a powerful agreement our Ancestors went through days of ceremony, discussions, & asking for spiritual guidance (which aren't written in the history books) for to ensure we, their future, would survive & live on to live life to the fullest according to our culture & honor who we are, where we come from, & where we are going.  

Aiy-Hey, Maci Cho…the evening was quite quiet besides the usual laughter & our ritual chats around the campfire.  Oh ya, we were still laughing about Pakan’s apple juice sample!

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