Life in the bush

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The bow and arrow was used to kill an animal. That is what my father used in his day, as he remembered. As for the use of bullets, you did not have a complete cartridge; you had to add the lead bullet to the casing manually. That is the way it looked in the past. Now, when we traveled here to the south, things started to look different. In the north, I did not see these things that I am referring to. The new generation today will not believe what life was like in the past. They will not believe the things that I had seen, and the things my father used for survival. My father harvested fish, and lived from them. There were no modern food stuffs like prepared meats, canned food. I never saw anything "opened" in the north, where I was growing up. I was born in the wild country. My mother did not come to a hospital to give birth. We were all born out there in the wild country. Even in the winter, babies were delivered, but I was born in the summer, in 1941. So I was born out there and people only stopped for two days. Not like today where the mother can be away for a while. In the past, people were very poor. Before the arrival of the Europeans, our ancestors led a poor life. They did not have modern clothes; perhaps they used only hay, and furs tied around their bodies. How did they dress in the winter? Well, they did survive the winter, and they were able to fashion clothing out of animal furs. We saw an abundance of caribou where I lived. I almost never saw a moose where we lived. This is how it was for my father. All winter long, fish was harvested, preparing food stuffs, storing food for our sustenance. There were many of us in my family: I will say about 11. And this is what I say today, it must have been very difficult for our ancestors working on their survival for themselves and their children. For instance, here in the community, we buy things but our ancestors lived off the wild country. They never saw grocery items like prepared canned food. They only saw flour, tea, sugar, oats, milk. However, these things were not expensive at all in the past. These things were not expensive. Sugar was only 55 cents at 5 pounds. I only learned of the Hudson's Bay Company store when I first arrived here and it was 55 cents for sugar. The others were more expensive like 1 dollar. These were the prices when I was growing up. Life was arduous in the past. Our ancestors living conditions were hard. To this day, it amazes me that they had the skills, and knowledge to sustain their lives and children. I am bewildered about this when I think about it given their living conditions in the past. No one will believe this if they have not seen it.
That will be all for now for me.


Life in the bush by John Edwards


Bow and arrow bullets fish birth wild country poor caribou moose groceries store

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