Today we had a hot dog lunch for the community to mark addictions awareness week. The kids all made posters about the evils of addiction,s many of them with a little too detailed pictures of bottles, bongs and crack pipes, which I found scary considering they are 10-14 years old. There was a sense of great familiarity in these objects for them. We pinned the pictures up in the community for the elders and other members of the community to look a while eating. On the bulletin board where all the news goes up I noticed that they had written hot dog lunch celebrating national children's day, interesting. Sara, Jean Marie's eldest elder made an offering of a fully dressed hot dog to a small bonfire that was stationed right outside the band hall, and said a prayer in Slavey, kissing and clutching her rosary tight. She is sweet looking, she has a friendly turned in mouth, her lips form a cave around her teeth and her hair is fine and cut short. She looks like a first nations raggedy Anne doll but her hands tell you she was part of a generation of first nations whose salvation was the bush, hard work and struggle was a way of life. The other community members that attended mostly just stared me down when I introduced myself and had little to say about recent affairs in the town. Big long tables of silent people. One man came up to me and offered to take me trapping in a few weeks. Could be days could be years. Or maybe that was a pick up line?
While I was cleaning up the smelly hot dog pots and carrying the bottles back to the cupboards in the gym's bathroom- sized canteen I noticed that a whole table of band members were watching me. I later found out that they were wondering if i am Canadian, employable and would I like to be the band's secretary treasurer??