Kâachik What was life like at Kâachik ?

Andrew TizyaAndrew Tizya tells of hunting at Kâachik and a New Year’s celebration

My father and my mother, sometimes we live at Kâachik . We [were] never raised here. Just other people, they lived there long ago. But me, my father, ... [trapped a lot there]. So some years, we stayed there. ... Lots of times we moved there.

Well, me, I always do something, huh, get something. Not only me, we got fur or meat or [things] like that. [At that time], the McPherson people came over. They got all kinds of fish ... . They pretty near starved, you know; pretty near got stuck. Lucky we were in Kâachik , yeah. About three families stayed there but they couldn’t help. Them too, they were [having a] hard time. They had to look after their food. ... They all pretty near starved, you know, but lucky I just happened [to go there].

All winter, we go all over hunting and never see even old tracks. ... I got two marten, though. Gee, two marten, that’s lots so I go home. No meat, boy! Well, my father told me, “When you leave camp out in the bush, don’t leave [in the] dark. Make sure, [you] have to ... wait [for] daylight.”

Boy! Well, my dog, [acted] funny for me. They smell, you know. So I think, check, [time to] check. Quiet, so I hitch them up. I don’t want them to holler so, quiet, I hitch them up. So I took gun, shell in it, too. I go ahead. Put chain on them, leader, and go ahead. Jeepers! It’s down hill like, low… . Go down, down at bottom is flat. From there just flat, huh. [I] go down, ahead of dog and gee whiz! my dog, just like something’s ahead of me. Just come behind the creek, and they go ahead and boy! Go in the bottom a little way, [and] my dog, I look at them and gee whiz! they’re looking [at] a bunch of caribou, right there! Really lucky I got a good gun. Maybe, I don’t know, I know how to shoot. Sure right there, I got shell on it, just standing there! I just shoot. Nine shots, nine caribou! Boyee oh boyee!

I [was] going to go home now, so I skinned some of them but I covered them, huh. Took the guts out [and] cleaned all the guts good [and] covered them with snow. Then two caribou, I wanted to haul so I put [them] alongside the trail and covered [them with] snow again. So, next morning I left early [and] travelled all day. Ahh, my dogs walked slow and sometimes [it was] hard to pull too. When I got to Kâachik , it wasn’t too late. ... Well I left early, huh.

Gee! I just started to drink tea [with] my mother. We had to eat rabbit, no meat, huh, [just] rabbit with tea. [While I was eating] the dogs barked. McPherson [people had] come. We had two caribou that I brought, ... brought it all the way. I have to go back [the next day] but I got lots of meat already. I camp there while they moved in.

Those men, they went [back] there and hunted with me, too. Ah, we had a good time. After that, they made Christmas and New Year. Big dance, gee whiz! Fiddle there [at Kâachik ], real big dance, [laughter] fiddle too, ... in Charlie Peter’s house. Him too, he played fiddle, but Charlie Linklater is the fiddle man. [He was there] and McPherson [people] too. Two guys played fiddle. Gee, they made a good time !

And then they moved to, we call it Long White Mountain [Zhoh Drin Choo]. Nine miles [long] I think, that mountain. Everybody moved, McPherson [people] and all Kâachik . We stayed there till March to get meat. McPherson [people] moved back to McPherson with dry meat to go back, you know. Then it’s ratting time ... . We never get stuck, though. ... People lived that way.