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angela sidney Getting Married I stayed with Old Man year . Well, I was still a kid yet. After I came out from under the bonnet,1 I went to Atlin with my aunt, Mrs. Austin, Sadusgé. They [Sadusgé and her white husband, Shorty Austin] were going prospecting, head of the lake. Her boys were going to stay in Carcross with her mother, and she took me to Atlin with her, year . Here she got sick, so we stayed in Atlin. My aunt used to talk to me about George Sidney: ‘‘If I see my nephew, George Sidney, I’m going to throw you at him!’’ And I used to think, ‘‘You marry him yourself!’’ but I never said it aloud, though. George’s father was her cousin, too, so she called him ‘‘my nephew.’’2 I was shy to George when I first saw him. I used to talk respectfully to him: I used to say, ‘‘my nephew,’’ ‘‘Eshidaa.’’3 They taught me to talk that way to show respect to people. My old man [husband] used to call me ‘‘Axaat’’: that means ‘‘my auntie [on the side of] my father’s people’’ in Tlingit. Here, he used to say that even among white people! Gee, I don’t like that! I get shamed. It’s old-fashioned! I used to say, ‘‘Why do you say that in front of people? You know they’re going to think she married her own nephew. White people don’t understand!’’ ‘‘Well, you are Axaat, Indian way,’’ he tells me. His father, Jim Sidney, was Deisheetaan – – that’s why I’m eshembe’e’ to him Tagish way; axaat, Tlingit way. The Sidneys are Teslin people – – they were at Johnson’s Crossing that year, . George was staying with his cousin, Jimmy Jackson. My father sent word to him and told him, ‘‘If you’re going to Teslin, you better come this way. I want to see you.’’ He was working longshoreman in Whitehorse. Whitehorse Billy called him up, ‘‘Come on for supper. I’ve got moose ribs.’’  Tagish So after he got off at five o’clock, he went there. Whitehorse Billy was staying in Whitehorse, in tent frame – – and so George went up there for supper. Whitehorse Billy had campfire outside, moose ribs boiling and cooking, I guess. After they finished eating, that’s the time my father’s niece, my aunt, Mrs. Whitehorse Billy4 – – Gunaaták’s daughter – – said, ‘‘My uncle, Tagish John, sent word to you. He said for you to go back to Teslin now, by Marsh Lake. That’s the word my uncle sent to you.’’ ‘‘Okay, well, how am I to go to Marsh Lake?’’ And her husband, Whitehorse Billy, tells him, ‘‘Well, there’s Pelly Jim: he’s going back to get some grub tomorrow. Get in touch with him.’’ So he did. Early in the morning, he got sugar, flour, everything. He’s got little tent, too, five by seven [feet]. And here he saw Pelly Jim. ‘‘Can I go back with you to Marsh Lake?’’ ‘‘Okay, I’m going back to Teslin – – I’m going to work my way back that way.’’ ‘‘I want to see Tagish John – – that’s how come I want to go back with you.’’ And that’s how he got to Marsh Lake. When he saw his father and his mother and his aunt, he told them Tagish John wants to see him. And his father told him after a while, after he thinks about it, ‘‘What does Tagish John want to see you for? Maybe he wants to give you his daughter or something like that.’’ Before George leaves, his father tells him, ‘‘Go. Whatever he wants you to do, just do it. It’s okay.’’ That’s how come he came directly to us. This is fall,  – – that’s how come he stayed with us. Well, I kind of didn’t like it – – he’s a stranger to me, you know. But when my father and mother told me to give him a cup of tea, to feed him, stuff like that, I had to do what my mother and father said. I never ran around like kids nowadays! As long as he’s Wolf, I’m supposed to be his aunt; I’m Crow. He calls me ‘‘Auntie.’’ And me, I have to call him ‘‘my nephew’’ when I feed him. ‘‘Eat, Eshidaa.’’ I have to talk respectable, not crazy, like nowadays. That’s Indian law – – as...

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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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