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peter john from ‘‘Stand for What Is Right’’ Strong People It’s hard to explain the real true way about life a long time ago. The way we see it today is altogether different. I’m going to talk in my Native tongue. Men-tee nonokhukholtseeyh. Łook’a oononokhukhugheełtseeyh. Dasr khedeltutl, tr’eyeet. Łook’a dekhegheeł’anh. Nodot Noocheloghoyet nenokhodedek , tr’eyeet. (‘‘They would make weirs on the creeks between the lakes. They would make weirs for fish. They would push boats by poling along the sandbar. They would get fish. They would go to Tanana in canoes.’’) From Minto here we pack canoe clean over them hills to Wickersham Dome. Over into Beaver Creek. Go down the Beaver Creek, down the Yukon River, and up the Tanana River. That’s the kind of people I’m talking about. I’m not talking about these young people open their door and look out down the street and say, ‘‘No, I’m not going to go out. Too cold.’’ I’m talking about people that didn’t care if it’s cold, rain or snow. It didn’t make any difference. They’re going to go. The young people today, that live right now, don’t compare to the people I’ve seen. Nobody. These old people really understand life. How would you like to stand up against a grizzly bear with just a spear? How would you feel? Just with bow and arrow. Brown bear charging you – – what you got? Nothing. These people never run away. These people just stand there. That’s the kind of people I seen. Right now today, it’s just too easy. It’s something we can’t understand. I just talk about people that pack canoe over that Wickersham Dome over there. Went into Beaver Creek and come up the Tanana River. It doesn’t make any difference how far it was or how long it’s going to take them. They’re going to go through with it. People that live. Moose snares. Caribou snares. Nobody is equal to these people. You got a spear, you catch fish with spear. You catch fish with bow and arrow. That’s nothing new to them. You kill beaver with bow and arrow. Right now it’s pretty hard for the young people to do.  Lower Tanana About thirty years ago is the last time I see people use bow and arrow. Although my grandson use bow and arrow, but he never try to catch anything with it. Birch is okay for arrows, but it get wet easy. So we get dry spruce. And for the bow we get dry willow. That you can’t break and it never get wet. I never did use the snow machine. I walked and used dogs and covered just as much ground as anybody. The going might be a little slow, but I got there. My boy used snow machine trapping and did all right. The thing is you got to understand the animals. You got to know whether he’s going to come back the same way. You got to know how the animals travel. We stay with trapping from November till February, then we switch to muskrats. Springtime we go to fish camp, make a wheel and fish all summer. We stay there almost until freeze-up and then get ready to trap. Get the sled and everything ready. We never did take it easy. Never. Me and my wife was busy all the time. I guess if you want to take a trip to Fairbanks, fool around, go down to Second Avenue.1 If that’s the kind of vacation you want, I guess nobody can’t stop you. No, everyday life is what we do everyday. It doesn’t make any difference if it’s vacation or not. It’s all the same. The reason why I never did write my life story before is because who’s going to believe what I write even though it’s true? That’s the reason I don’t like to talk about things that nobody’s seen. One time we made a fish wheel in sixteen hours from start to finish. Just one day for me, my wife, and my boy. Put raft, basket and everything together in just sixteen hours. If nobody seen me do it, I’ll just keep it to myself. I’ll give anybody a chance to learn...


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