Story 9

Innu life in the old days

Back in the old days, the Innu people lived their way of life, and the Elders would teach their children and grandchildren their culture; how to hunt, and how to raise their own children. Sometimes the children would help out their parents and grandparents.

The Elders would teach the children how to respect the caribou, partridge, porcupine, and the caribou bones. And sometimes, the Innu people used to teach their children how to make bannock.

My mom once told me a story about her mother being pregnant. They were in the country for a whole year back in 1978. She said there were about five families including her family. She said her mother went into premature labour when she was seven months pregnant. Her mother was due in March 1979, but she was two months early. My mom was about seven years old, and she said she doesn't quite remember everything that day, but she remembers her uncle Sam and his wife, Frances, doing everything they could to help out.

They tried to reach the nurse by talking on the C.B. radio, but they couldn't reach anyone. It was about a couple of hours later when they reached the nurse, and the nurse told them that the chopper would be there in an hour with a doctor.

When my mom and the other's went back to the tent with Frances, they noticed the sky was a little dark and starting to snow, but after about a half an hour, the snow was getting a little thicker, and the wind started to blow. Everyone started to worry.

When some hours went by, as they waited for the chopper to arrive, everyone knew that her mother was getting worse, that she was going to have the baby with or without the doctor. My mom's grandmother had been in that kind of situation before, and had delivered babies in the past. When her grandmother came into the tent, she asked if she could have a moment with my mom's mother, so she could examine her.

A few minutes later, she said that there was no time, and that she could feel the baby's head. When she was finished dilating, that's when she prepared to deliver the baby herself with a little help from the others who were in the tent.

My mother's father was asked to get some wood to keep the tent nice and warm, and the others were asked to get some clean towels. Some were asked to get some blankets to wrap the baby after its birth. That's when the children were asked to go outside and wait for the arrival.

My mom said they waited for a few minutes, and then they heard the baby cry. My mom's father said that they could come in the tent now, and meet their new baby brother, Paul. About 20 minutes later, the chopper landed, and the doctor came out of the plane, and ran into the tent to see if everything was okay.

The doctor announced that the baby couldn't be better, but he would half to go to the hospital back in Goose Bay, because he was too tiny (because he was born two months early). But the good news was that the baby was perfectly fine. Anyway, the mother and the baby were taken to the hospital on the chopper, and they came back about two weeks later.

Everyone was very happy that everything worked out perfectly with the delivery, and that the mother and the baby were doing fine at last. By the time they went back home, the baby was crawling and moving around a lot.

Well, that's my story. The mother was my grandmother, and the baby is my uncle. The father was my grandfather, but I never got to meet him. He passed away when I was a baby, and my grandmother passed away about four years ago. My uncle Paul is doing fine, but he's so annoying sometimes.

My other grandparents started taking me to the country when I was a little baby, but they stopped going when I was about 10 years old. I don't know why.

They would teach me stuff, like the time my grandmother taught me how to make bannock. I had a lot of fun. And the time when me and my dad would go on the boat with my uncle Courtland, and hunt for geese. We sometimes walked around in the woods with my grandfather and his dog. I miss those days!

 Top of page Previous