I’m beginning to become adjusted to the east coast lifestyle of visiting, crazy stories, fun-filled laughter and plenty of seafood.
We picked up Nanny at her Elder’s home and made our way south to Bathurst, NB and Deborah’s community of Pabineau First Nation. We spend a lot of time at Uncle Fisher’s and met his children, their spouses and his grandbaby Finn. I sat on the kitchen floor, took our make-shift drum out of a popcorn can and we belted out an inter-tribal song with cooking utensils as drumsticks with Nanny looking on.
Later on, Fisher made great salmon on the barbeque. We also enjoyed some delicious homemade lu’sknikn (baked bannock) made by Chief David’s wife, Rose. We had a taste of some lobster rolls and fried clams too.
We laughed when I tried to scare the beejesus out of Deb, Scott and Uncle Fisher by running out of the bush full-tilt, rustling trees and branches, trying to mimic some large mammal. Then I tripped on the road and ended up with a mouthful of green leaf-matter. The laugh was on me.
The highlight of the day was our romantic tour of the First Nation by ATV. Deb and I snuck away from the family, donned helmets, clutched each other on Fisher’s four-wheeler and made our way down the rez road checking out all the sites.
Our destination was beautiful Pabineau Falls – freshwater rapids and natural falls that is a beautiful and important part of Deborah’s childhood. We walked hand-in-hand across the rocks and trails recounting the stories of her youth. I layed facedown on the rock and reached my left arm deep into the rushing river in a spiritual greeting on nbi (water). In a still pool nearby we watched a little wajushk (muskrat) swim by, only to play dead when it took notice of us observing him.
On our way up from the rocks, Deborah took a hard little spill onto her knees, the second such wipeout in three days. The rain has made everything slick from cottage decks to exposed bedrock. Appropriately, I renamed our sacred spot at Pabineau Falls – Wounded Knee.