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peter john from ‘‘Old Ways’’ I Belong to My Mother’s Side In our Native way we go by tribes. Ch’echalyoo, Bedzey-te khut’ana, Toneedze gheltseełna, Tsey-yoo. That’s the tribes we go by. Don’t ask me why. We’ve got that many tribes right here in Minto down the street. I’m Caribou, Bedzeyte khut’ana. I belong to my mother’s side not my father’s. Because that’s the right way. If we don’t go by tribe, we’ll be mixed marriage all together. My wife is Toneedze gheltseełna. She’s not my side. There’s a difference. My kids are all on their mother’s side. That’s the Indian way. These things we have to understand. Long time ago people used to fight against different tribes. Therefore you got to know which side you belong to all the time. I don’t care where you go. If you don’t know, you’re going to fall into something you got no business to fall into. Some tribes might be fighting someplace and that fight could come right here. Some people will be safe and the other ones they try to kill. As an Indian we have to understand which tribe is fighting. People don’t have to fight all the time, just when somebody makes a bad mistake. Like what Hitler did over in Europe. Same thing. He try to be too smart for himself and he got the whole world fighting. Same thing can happen if we let a person go. Person that gossip too much or make false statements against his friends. That’s the kind that start trouble. That’s what people used to be careful for. It was many years ago there was a war on the Yukon River at the Rapids. People was going down in the springtime and run into it. But they knew about it before and they didn’t fight. From what I hear it started way up in Canada. People called Deeseneena came down. There used to be a lot of wars in Alaska. People of the different tribes fight among themselves. I’m Caribou. My wife is Toneedze gheltseełna. Chief Charlie from here was Ch’echalyoo. And Chief Ivan down at Crossjacket was Toneedze gheltseełna. They’re the ones that fight among themselves. peter john: i belong to my mother’s side  These people that fight are not right. They try to do something wrong against their fellow human being and start it off that way. I know a lot of stories about the war, what went on, but I wouldn’t talk about it because a lot of people might say I was wrong altogether. And I don’t like that because I heard it from other people myself. We’re all together in Minto now. When we go out hunting, six or seven boats go together. We do things together. Fishing and everything. Picking berries. We don’t leave nobody home. If somebody want to go, sure, okay, we let them go. ’Cause that’s the way we live. Not because we’re scared, but the thing is this, we want to try to take care of one another. Now we just went down on Tanana Slough a couple days ago. We drive rabbits. Six or seven boats went down there all hunting rabbits for two days. My wife and I got twelve. That’s the way we live. ...


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