Kâachik What was life like at Kâachik ?

Mary Netro’s story of living at Kâachik as a child

My mother, my own mother [Eva Chisson, aka Eva Joseph], when I was two years old she died, they said. So then, Martha John Charlie adopted me. Another man [John Charlie] married her so they went up to Kâachik .

[That was her country] Every summer, in September, they went up by boat. All winter, they stayed up there at Kâachik . [They] trapped and hunted. Summer, everything; all winter they trapped too. In the springtime after the ice broke up, we came down by boat. We stayed around Old Crow for two months, I think. Then we went back up [to Kâachik ], that’s what we did. That’s all I remember. We never went anywhere else. In the winter, my [adopted] mother they came down for Christmas. At that time, my grandmother [Ellen Tetlichi] stayed with her, up there alone, at camp. We probably never knew Christmas passed, I guess.

My grandmother was John Charlie’s mother. Her name was Ellen Tetlichi and their dad was Old Charlie, hah? We stayed with them during Christmas and New Year; they came down here. Us, we never went anywhere. Every year that’s all we did, go back to the same place. Eventually they adopted Peter Benjamin while he was still small. Him too, they raised him.

After that, Ellen [Abel] and I—she’s my sister, you know—we were raised together. We got married at the same time. She married Charlie Abel and I married Rufus Netro. After, we just stayed one year with my father. The next year we stay here [Old Crow]. We live around here and never went back up there. …

They would leave from here [Old Crow]. My father [adopted father, John Charlie] had a big boat, lumber boat, Charlie Peter Charlie, too. Besides them, lots had them, too. Jim [Jackson, trader] would drive his boat back upriver. The last time, they travelled with that kind of boat. They tied on boats to Bell River. From there, they would pull the boats up along the shore with rope. My father [adopted father, John Charlie] and Peter Charlie, all of them. They walk along the shore pulling ropes, pulling the boats up. The dogs ran on the shore, too. That is how we lived then. When they came downriver, they had the dogs in the boats. Later, all of them they got big boats, hah?