CHAPTER ONE: EARLY LIFE ON THE TRAP LINE

ADVISORY: Some of the videos on this website contain very sensitive subject matter and may trigger negative memories for survivors and their families. We advise people to use discretion when viewing or showing them.

1.1 THE EAGLE BLESSES OUR PROJECT

This is the scene at Ningewance Bay on Lac Seul as Garnet and I were setting up for our very first interview for this project. Even before the camera was on the tripod, an eagle flew overhead: A spiritual significance and sanction of our project. The appearance of an Eagle has happened many times at key moments in Garnet’s life.

1.2 LIFE ON THE TRAP LINE

In this video, Garnet reminisces about his early life at Ningewance Bay, part of the Lac Seul First Nation territory, from birth to age seven (when he was sent to residential school). He lived in a small house with his mother and father, and brothers and sister. Other relatives lived nearby. This segment gives you a good understanding of what life was like on the trap line in the 1950s and 60s.

1.3 TRADITIONAL ANISHNAABE NAMES

In the Anishnaabe tradition, families were divided into clans. Garnet’s family came from the Caribou clan. Other clans included the Bear, the Eagle, the Sturgeon, the Moose, and the Loon clans. People were not supposed to marry someone from the same clan. Anishnaabe names were given to all babies, although by the 1950s most children were given Christian names also. Garnet’s Anishnaabe name is Shebagosh. It means  “rebirth under the leaves.” Angeconeb means “changing feathers.”

1.4 GARNET AT MAP OF LAC SEUL TERRITORY

Before colonization, Aboriginal people lived on huge tracts of land, that weren’t defined by provincial or international boundaries. When reserves were created (through signed treaties), many people had to move to areas that were much smaller than their traditional territories. In this video segment, Garnet shows us the traditional territory of his ancestors, as compared to the current Lac Seul First Nation land.