Page 14 - Frank Doucette on Micmac Ruggedness
ISSUE : Issue 23
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/8/1
sasqey ika'tu'n tu'jiw i* tqojuaijitu'n sment wheelbarrowiktuk. Na nekmewey metue'k. Newte'jit na ji'nm so'qaijitoq ke's ktik ji'nm setamk ketmoqja'latl aqq niksmtuk ktit ji'nm kwetnatl a*papi*l nastaqpilitl nikantuke'l wheelbarrowiktuk. Na nekmewey kinua'tultew ta'n teli ksukk sment so'qaijitumk sasqeyiktuk. App na mu pasik puktaqianukw sment wjit lakka'pl na tujiw. Nespi pijo'tu'nl na kun'tal kwlaman ma' te'sik sment wekasinukw. Ta'n tujiw na kaqi kise'tasik lakka'p aqq aklasie'wk poqjitu'tij wenji'kuom, Inu'k app na nuji plastera'taqatipnik. Mu gyproc ewe'wasikip na tujiw. Psike'kn app na ne'wt elalqasikek kikjiw awtik Inu'k app na kisalqatmi'tip pike'ks aqq qaliputiiktuk. Amskwesewey psike'kn weji pqotalqasik weja'tekemk na'tami miawe'k nike* kiskuk teluisik Gallagher St. mi'soqo sipu'ji'jk. Ta'pu- ewey psike'kn app kisalqatmi'tip weja'te? kemk sipu'ji'jk mi'soqo kikjiw so'sep mikitanlo'q i' wikip. Sipu'ji'jek app na pemiaqnek na'te'l amskwes. Tan tujiw na kaqiaq lukwaqnn amastek na ankmi apankituksin wen. Pawe'kip suliewey teli ika'q ta'n tli apankituaten ji'nmuk. Wqwayij na kitu' nipi alasutmamk apankitulk. Katu ki's na nuku' wel'ta'sin apankitulk mita mu amasenukw san'tikkla's miamuj pqoji mawteluaten. • Frank Doucette and Bernie Francis This article is Frank Doucette's recol? lections as they were told to Bernie Francis. Frank told them to Bernie and Bernie wrote them out in Micmac and Doug Smith translated the Micmac into English. But the Micmac is not in Frank's exact words. Bernie explained that Frank's Mic? mac is really too good, too subtle and difficult for the junior high school stu? dents to whom this kind of article is ' aimed. Bernie said that the language used made up, and they come out right away and begin pouring. But at the time I'm talking about, you mixed the cement by hand. You actually waded in the stuff, and mixing it was hard because if you let up, it would dry out on you. After the cement you were pouring got so high, you had to lay a plank down and then wheelbarrow the rest of the cement uphill. And this was diffi? cult! One man would take off up the plank with the load; at the same time another man at the back would push him along, while yet ajiother man at the front would pull on a rope which was attached at the head of the wheelbarrow. That just goes to show you how heavy cement can be when you're going uphill on a plank with it! Then, too, the cement you made basements out of in those days wasn't exactly pure. You mixed in so much rock in order to save on the cement. Finally, when the basement was done, and the house started going up, again, we people did the plastering. In those days gyproc wasn't used. And, again, when it was time for the ditch at the side of the road to be made, it was us who did the digging with pick and shov? el. The first ditch was dug from around the middle of what is called Gallagher Street today up to the brook. Then they dug the second ditch from the brook up to about where the late Joe MacDonald used to live. At one time a brook ran by that place, too. Once all the work was done, it was still a long way off before a person got paid. The men's pay was slow in coming. It would be almost Christmas before you got it. Still, you were happy when it did arrive because the time when you had to start buying up Christmas toys was not far off. here is common to the younger people to? day, that it is used on a daily basis. "The younger people today • say in the age group of 12 to l6--would have difficulty m understanding an elder as he tells a story because of the superior knowledge the elder has about the Micmac language." (Is this the case even when it is spo? ken?) "Oh, yes. The younger person might get the gist of what the elder is saying • but if he was telling a story from way, way back, he would use words he would not normally use in conversation." Bernie explained that because there has not been written material in the Micmac language, even to this day, the younger people have not been able grow in sophis? tication in terms of their own language. This is the purpose of the new writing system. "Nobody up to this point knows how to read and write Micmac well. So we devised a new writing system a couple of years ago and have been promoting it." The opening photograph came to us cour? tesy of The Micmac News. It is a publi? cation of the Native Communications So- ciety. Subscriptions are $5.00 a year. Write Box 3/|-/j>. Sydney. N.S. BIP 6H2.
Cape Breton's Magazine