Matinen (Rich) Katshinak

Born in 1927, Matinen is the daughter of Shinipesht Rich and Manishan (Mista-Matinin), and the granddaughter of Edward Rich (Mishta-Napesh), one of the last northern Innu shamans. She married Shushep Katshinak, with whom she adopted two children.

If there was a successful caribou hunt, we would all walk to the place where the caribou were killed. Later, we would pull the meat on our toboggans. We didn't have any dogs then. Kakeshau [non-Innu] would find it very hard."

"People would go a long ways just to go to the store. They would come from the country and they would walk, pulling their toboggans. It was very hard in the country, especially when food was scarce."

"When caribou were killed, nothing was thrown away. You kept everything. The meat was hung and dried. Makushan would be held. In preparation for this feast, the caribou bones would be crushed to make the grease. Usually my grandfather or some other Tshishennu (Elder) would take care of crushing the bones."

"My mother was one of the great hunters. Me too, I can hunt as well as a man."

"One of my favourite places in the country is Atiku-uapishkuss because caribou were always plentiful around that tall mountain. Another place was Ashtunekamiku. I've walked through that place."

"I would like to tell future generations of Innu that hunting is very important. We used to have young people staying with us when we went to the country, and that's where they learned to be good hunters. The kids that lived with us are good hunters today. But some children just don't know, maybe because they never learned or nobody taught them. When kids learn early they become great hunters.

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