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gertie tom Gyò Cho Chú Living at Big Salmon, s and s Long ago when I was young our whole family used to live at Big Salmon – – my dad, my mother, my older sisters, my younger sisters – – eight of us lived there at Big Salmon. Lots of people used to stay there: John Shorty, George Peters, Pack Charlie, Harry Silverfox lived at Big Salmon too. In summertime we would go to Tacho1 to cut wood in exchange for food. I helped my dad cut wood and then we always stayed there for summer. We cut wood quite some distance away [from the camp] and we used to go up there every day. We would carry a lunch with us each day to eat at noon. We worked all day long cutting wood for the White Pass steamboat which traveled back and forth from Whitehorse to Dawson. After we cut wood, we got food in exchange. We only worked for food; we didn’t ever see any money to speak of. My dad really worked hard to get food for his children . That’s how we all learned to work hard. My dad and my mother brought us up to know how to work. Living in the bush we all learned how to work hard. We didn’t stay in town and travel around in a car. In the old days people used to like to travel around for their food. We were staying at Tacho when the salmon came up in July. From there my mother, my young brother, and I went to the place they call Gold Point.2 We put up a tent and drying racks and we dried fish. We camped right there at an old camping spot. My dad took us up there by boat and helped us set up camp before we went back.3 We went there for salmon. We set up our tent and brought in wood [for campfire]. Then I helped my dad set a fishnet for salmon. We tied rocks on it to weight it down. Then he went back to Tacho to cut wood for food. My mother and I camped there. Then I ran a fishnet and my youngest brother held the boat rope so it wouldn’t drift away. I would check the net. Sometimes in the morning we would catch thirty fish and at night we would catch thirty. When it turned dark we would light a lantern and then we filleted fish  Northern Tutchone by that light. We really worked hard, my mother and I, drying lots of fish by ourselves. We had a boat but it didn’t have a motor on it. Then my two sisters came up from Tacho. When they got there the salmon was already dry. We were planning to take that dried salmon back to Big Salmon, so we loaded up the boat with salmon and pulled it upriver. One of my sisters sat in the boat, pushing it away from the shore with a pole. We pulled the boat upriver for a whole day. When we got to where we lived we stored the fish in a cache. Then we got ready to go out for meat. We unloaded the boat and packed it all up to the storage cabin. When we finished putting it all inside we planned to go up Big Salmon River. My dad came up from Tacho to go with us. He had been cutting wood in exchange for food and he picked up the food and brought it with him. Then we headed out for meat. We went up Big Salmon River. We put the food in dog packs and we took what we needed to survive – – like a tent and axe and things you need in the bush. The dogs packed food for us and we each carried our own blanket. Then we went on to the place they call Chu K’óa [Little Cold Water]. We camped right there. In the morning we started going again and kept walking and walking. A foot trail goes up on the hillside from a place they call Shā [Fish Trap]. In the old days people used to set a fish trap there for salmon so they named it Shā in Indian language. The trail leads to the place they call Ekı́n4 from there and we went there. It used to be really nice along that trail. The ground was really hard and there...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780803202368
MARC Record
OCLC
607194129
Pages
394
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-10
Language
English
Open Access
No
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