Mishkeegogamang First Nation


Memories of Sam and Emily Skunk

It was here, about this time, long ago. What a merry ride to travel on a boat with the family! Dusk was on its way as the sun set on the calm lake. Father sat behind me steering our 9 hp motor and mother sat at the front end of the boat. All siblings huddled together in the center to keep each other safe and warm. Vroom, vroom, I'd hum to the sound of the motor. Water splashed lightly against the sides of the boat. I'd look all around me; every island had its own beautiful features of trees, rocks and land. A soft breeze would blow in our faces.

Mama's scarf waved with her hair; I could almost smell her perfume. She was a plump lady, not fat. Mama wore a purple dress and flowered shirt. She'd only wear rubber boots for this trip, otherwise it'd be dress shoes. Yup, she was a lady.

Father, he always had a cigarette in his fingers or mouth, his white hair had become stained from the tar, and his fingers too had turned yellow where he'd held his cigarettes. He wore black or dark navy suits only, a cowboy hat, and a chained wallet attached to his belt. He had one of those metal butane lighters which went click, click with every use. He was a stern, strong, thin, tall man.

When it got cool, we'd stop to camp for the night. Everyone would move quickly, tents would be set up, Mama would gather branches for our tent flooring. A fire would be made and wood set aside. Water hauled from the lake. Tea, bannock and tea-porridge were a treat. Mama made good bannock, Dad always brewed his coffee. Mmm and ahh, I can almost taste the bannock and smell Dad's coffee.

As night crept in, a loon call would echo distantly on the lake. We'd settle into our canvas tents. Mama brought her famous homemade goose feather blankets especially for a night like this. We were warm and cozy, lying on a foam mattress. As the candle was put out, I looked toward my father's shadow from the outside campfire, as he tended to it for the night. Crackle, crackle, loon call and everyone else sound asleep. I soon would be too.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for these memories.

Submitted by: Jerinena Neekan, Band Member

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