Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 50 > Page 96 - From Ruth Whitehead's Micmac Album

Page 96 - From Ruth Whitehead's Micmac Album

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (234 reads)

compelled to leave him to his fate. I determined however to see what could yet be done, and went on to the camp whteh was about two miles from the Parsonage, and about half a mile into the woods. I found him in his wigwam with his squaw and papoose, lying upon his bed of spruce boughs,~but exhibiting no indication whatever of suf? fering, though his pain was great. His calm features would have led you to believe that nothing was the matter: his wife too presen/ed the same undisturbed composure of countenance. I tried to convince him how wrong he was in his determination, and that death must inevita? bly be the result. He did not however think so; and imagined that cer? tain herbs were to be found in the forest, which if applied would effect his cure: "Besides how should he be able to go into the woods to get ash for his tubs and buckets; if he were to lose his leg?" I told him I had seen cases where a wooden leg in some measure supplied the place of the natural limb. This seemed to arrest his attention; particu? larly when I told him the name of the person to whom I particularly al? luded. Still he could not make up his mind; and his wife contributed a good deal to his hesitation, as she had a decided dislike to go into a house built after the manner of the "white man." I told him however that no time was to be lost; and that death was certain unless he would submit to have his leg cut off. He at last turned away his face to the wall of his wigwam crushing a small chip convulsively with his teeth; and was silent for a moment or two, whilst deliberating with himself. He then turned round suddenly and said,~"cut!" I knew from the nature of the Indian that his mind was made up; and accordingly had everything reversed. A swift Indian named "Lewis Paul," well known as a moose-hunter amongst sportsmen,-was sent off to the neighbouring town for surgical instruments. The surgeon of the Vil- lage,~a kind and skillful man attended; the patient was removed to the school house; and by the same night or the next morning, the op? eration was over. His wife however could not be induced to live in the school house, but pitched her wigwam outside, as she (in common with the rest of her tribe) looked upon it as a disgrace to live in a civil? ized house. He bore the operation with stoical fortitude. Although a Roman Catholic he did not object to my offering up prayer for him af? ter his removal to the school house. Rev. Richard John Uniacke 1882: , As a rule the Indians of this band are industrious. Their ?? ?? life, however, is a hard one; ease or conrrfort does not fall to their lot. Yet they are always happy and contented - much more so than any other class of people could be under similar cir? cumstances. A few only seem to care for the luxury of living in frame or even log houses; the great majority have a decided preference for camp life. In winter the men are generally occupied in making tubs and barrels, the women in making baskets and nrwccasins. These wares they sell in trade throughout the country for the necessaries of "Micmac woman with basket." Whvcocomaah (?). ca 1930 life. Baddeck, the shire town of the county, is their principal market, being a distance from the reserve of about 12 miles. The squatters on the old reserve are still in possession, and according to present indications, there is not much hope of the poor Indians ever recover? ing the lands that originally belonged to them. Several of the parties who occupy these lands failed to make good their title within the time given, never having fulfilled any of the condittons imposed upon them by the Government. The facts connected with the settlement of those lands have been brought to the notice of the Department time and again, but so far nothing has been done. Grant to DIA.Iona. Grand Narrows. N. S. 5 Sect. 1882. 1Q ' C ?? • af" sending you a cmde drawing of an aerial device I 9 I Q ?? have been studying for some time past, which I'd like you to see, and to show to some of your Military gentlemen friends, Island Crafts The Talent of Cape Breton Knitters Is but One Example of Excellence at Island Crafts Old-Fashloned Charm Is Our Trademark VISIT OUR STORE AND SEE THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF TREASURES Handknit Fishermen's Sweaters - Kitchen Accessories Designer Mohair Sweaters - Hand Carved Clan Crests Hats & Scarves for Every Age Group - Cookbooks Intricate Designs in Pottery - Hand Appliqued Quilts Ruffled Cushions - Wide Selection of Baby Items The Mad Potters Collection - Boats in Bottles A Good Selection of Local Literature Tt-q list is endless! Treat vourself to ISLAND CRAFTS. Wholesale: full line of souvenirs | The 539-6474 Focus of Your Visit to Cape Breton, in Downtown Sydney OPEN YEAR ROUND: MONDAY TO SATURDAY, 9 TO 5; FRIDAY, 9 TO 9 329 Charlotte Street, Sydney 564-5527 4fc a project of Cape Breton Development Corporation
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