I just returned from a fantastic week on the land with my Cree friends David and Anna Bosum. I mention them by name, but there were many other people who worked and visited with us during the week. It’s such a unique experience, to be welcomed into their culture and learn about their life in the bush. I’ve said repeatedly that when you practice something daily as part of your life it isn’t a skill, it’s culture. These trips are about so much more than one-off skills.
One morning we were out checking snares, with lots of technical details being pointed out to our group, and I mentioned to my good friend Dragan Uzelac that walking the land with David, hearing the stories and sharing the experience, is what brings me back time after time. If it were just a how-to class, it would be nowhere near as rich of an experience.
Several members of our group made snowshoe moccasins out of braintanned moosehide, all of which turned out amazing. They also learned how to embroider them, as is the Cree way to decorate them. In the photo above is Molly modeling her newly-made moosehide snowshoe moccasins. She had never sewn before this trip, and the moccasins and embroidery turned out absolutely beautiful as you can see in the photo.
We ate like kings, with daily helpings of moose, goose, fish, and snowshoe hare all harvested from the land. We also learned about preparing a moose head for food, processing moose intestines, making a marrow broth, and countless other food-related topics. In addition to all the wild game, we also enjoyed lots of homemade bannock and doughnuts.
From end to end it was a fantastic trip, filled with great experiences with new friends and old friends. It will be long-remembered.