Story 8

The country is a remarkable place to go, when there is no health problem. People stayed four months or a year. Men would go hunting. They would be gone four or five days to check their traps for furbearing animals. Women would stay behind to do the house work. They would take over men's jobs for a few days when the men were gone, like getting some firewood to keep their children warm.

Even the women hunted. They would hunt for partridges, porcupines, snare rabbits and catch fish. Women would get some boughs for the tent floors. They would put them in layers in winter times, and in summer times, they had to change them if they were all dried up. A woman had to make clothing for her husband and children. She used dry caribou skin, and she even made slippers, but only in the summer time.

And in winter, she'd use seal skin to make mittens and boots. Men would make sleds and women would help with netting the snowshoes. Men even delivered babies when they were in the country. Elders used dry bark to prevent a diaper rash.

People say that they always went canoeing for hunting. Elders made their canoes. Now there are hardly any Elders in the community who make canoes, or a person who knows everything in the country.

My grandfather says that there was no beer back then. People were healthy. They didn't have diabetes and arthritis. The Elders made medicine from tree sap for cuts and wounds. Ever since everything got invented, people don't go to the country, like the electronics they have gotten used to, by using them. And now, people don't go very far because they don't teach their children what to do in the country!

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