Often I tend to look at life with a sarcastic twist, some would even say from a bizarre viewpoint, but life is not always what it looks to be, at face value or superficially. The model-thin women who prance the walkway often plead the cause of world peace as the initiative behind their exhibitionistic qualities. The hero of many a soap opera, often some sand-blasted wind-swept hairdo tanned-beyond-belief sex god, has not the worry of the common man. Where is the rest of humanity? In front of the boob tube like the good little viewers they are.

This I call wimp central, the hub of all good (wannabe) men and women, who cannot envision themselves ever going beyond their respective lifestyles and taking on what could be a better life for all. In Cree world, there isn’t enough room for wimps or wannabes. The real Cree world demands that all have to be good hunters, fishermen, camp keepers, cooks and fish gutters, axe wielders and paddlers, goose and duck pluckers, fur tanners and waterproof moccasin makers and the list goes on. When, in the near future, time for recruitment of such worldly and knowledgeable people to maintain our Cree lifestyles draws near, we will have to draft common wimps and wannabes into the folds of Eeyou Istchee and make real men and women out of them.

The perfect example of a wimp is someone who cries at the sight of blood drawn by mosquitoes off of pallid skin, denies that trails go more than a mile, insist that potable water can only be bought at the store in bottles, declares that the world starts at nine o’clock every day except on week ends (where it doesn’t matter what time of the day the day starts), insists that all meals be eaten at a table and must be made on an electric stove, thinks that name brand expensive clothing is their true identity, and has never seen food that has not been frozen and/or pre-packaged. In fact, many true blue wimps and wannabes cannot believe that a breakfast cereal (which is a staple food for many) actually was grown from the ground at a farm not far from their neighbourhood!

These types of people are perfect candidates for initiation into Eeyou Istchee, where life begins at pre-dawn and the day ends when it’s dark outside. Life is something that can be challenging for those with fear of the great outdoors, but when push comes to shove, all who are immersed in the Cree way of life, never want to come back to the madness of modern day life and hear another road-raged driver honk their horn incessantly, or ever want to hear the daily ramblings of the newscasters depicting doom and gloom, or ever even want to believe the weatherman when the storm rages on for days and says that sunny days are really coming soon. Ha!

Give me the weak and depressed wimps and wannabes and I’ll turn them into denizens of the true north, returning as Nordic gods and wearing T-shirts that proclaim them as survivors of a canoe trip, or a 100-kilometre long snowmobile trek, or stating that they never, ever tore the skin of a goose while plucking up a feathery storm, or enjoyed the succulent taste of steamed-boiled moose nostril. Wouldn’t the image of southerners change if they were to actually act out the “true north strong and free” and walk a mile in our moccasins? Wouldn’t there be more respect for our lifestyle if one were to truly experience our daily lives as real people of Eeyou Istchee? Welcome, wimps and wannabes, to our world.