My Story

I was born in Rocher River, NWT, in 1928. In those days , it was hard living; the people had to live off the land. We moved around from place to place with our whole family. We stayed in tents, and winter was always so cold.

In the fall around November, there used to be lots of caribou. The caribou came from the barren lands. The people from Hay River and Fort Resolution used to come to Rocher River to hunt for caribou.

My mom would make a lot of dry meat as soon as the caribou was brought back to camp. She would use all parts of the caribou; not much went to waste. She would also make tanned hide out of the caribou skins. She would soak the hide for five days and use the bone from the caribou to tan the hide. She would make sinew out of the parts of the skin that were too thin . The sinew became babiche, which was used for lacing snowshoes and all other household tasks.

Caribou bone marrow is also used for cooking. In the springtime, my mother would boil the marrow, skim the top to remove the fat and save it for making bannock, frying food and eating with dry meat. The caribou hooves were also used; they were dried and kept until the summer when we were low on food. Mother would boil them and make soup.

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