SKHC Calendar 2019

Nzhishenh chris uncle Chris Pheasant Biboon Nimkee (Winter Thunder), Bezhig Midewiwin, Wikwemikong Unceded Territory What are your teachings surrounding being an uncle? Biologically, I have 3 uncles and quite a few uncles through marriage, which had a lot of influence on me. For me, that was quite important because I didn’t have a dad with us at that particular time. I was raised by my grandparents but my uncles were very close by so I always played with their children or hung out with my cousins. I was just like one of the boys. A lot of my teachings come from there is what a young man needs to know. Hard work was always explained to me as being important, being blessed with the ability to do work. (...) My uncles were like my dads. My grandfather was the one who took me in, traditionally that’s what happens sometimes if you’re come into what’s known as illegitimate child, without father. Sometimes your grandparents would pick you up to raise you to allow your mom to have an opportunity to find someone and it was a way of protection at the same time. (...) The men or the young boys, we used to have different things, in the first ceremony being the first kill. Where you hunted and were taught to give it away. Even fishing, when I caught my first fish they told me I had to give it away. So I did it and later asked why. It’s about karma and giving and that you have to feed the people. That’s what a man’s role is to be that one who hunts, provides, and takers of life to feed. The woman is the one that gives life. You had to learn these skills or else you weren’t going to get chosen by woman. That was in those days, mid 60’s and up, they still had those teachings. (...) A lot of different teachings, not realizing they were teachings, learning hands-on. Each uncle has different gifts to me and I use all those teachings without realizing because it gets so embedded in you. (...) Whether it be nephews or nieces, I think uncles really shape a young person’s life. I know my life has been shaped by many great men. Excerpt from the interview with Chris Pheasant by Elizabeth Eshkibok, Cultural Practitioner at the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre.