Moose to Moccasins: The Story of Ka Kita Wa Pa No Kwe

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Dundurn, Aug 31, 2006 - History - 120 pages

Having been born in a tent on Bear Island, Lake Temagami, in 1908, Madeline Katt Theriault could recall an earlier independent and traditional First Nations lifestyle. In this book, the late author proudly tells of her youth and coming of age by sharing her vivid memories and drawing on exceptional old family photographs. In her own words, she writes of a time long ago -- a time that was difficult, but not without personal rewards.

"Moose to Moccasins is a remarkable account by Madeline Theriault, or Ka Kita Wa Pa No Kwe ('Wise Day Woman'), who, in her own words, has lived 'in both cultures, Indian and white man's.' From her birth in the Temagami region in 1908, to her life in North Bay in the 1970s and 1980s, she takes the reader on a remarkable journey. We travel through the bush with her as a young girl. 'We killed animals only when needed and we could drink water anywhere. Our camp was always fresh; fresh balsam branches for our beds and floors in the camp. Such lively smells and the air was pure.' We step back into another century, into another universe. There is a wealth of information in these pages about a people, and a way of life, about which most non-Natives know almost nothing."
- Donald B. Smith, Professor of History, University of Calgary

 

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Contents

Foreword
9
This is my story
11
An Ojibway beginning
12
Making rabbit skin blankets
17
My elders as teachers
18
A special greatgrandmother
25
Starvation a constant threat
29
Living in the bush
32
Seasons and traditional customs
59
The Burden expedition
62
Living with nature
74
More memories from my early days
77
The fisher was very scarce
81
More hardships and tragedy
82
Other areas of work
85
A play for the tourists
89

My mother dies
36
I became a wife
38
Setting up our hunting camp
42
October fishing
44
Trapping as a way of life
45
The moonshine tragedy
49
My greatgrandmother dies
52
Moose to moccasins
54
Dealing with hard times
94
My ordeal with tuberculosis
101
My new life
104
A second marriage
108
A new type of career
110
My reflections as a senior
115
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