“They wanted to see what it is we do, so we just did it,” says Sam Blacksmith of his starring role in the Boyce Richardson film, Cree Hunters Of Mistassini. What 82-year-old Sam did, and still does by profession is, of course, hunt.
The film, which went on to win three awards, made him almost instantly recognizable to many Cree. The trademark para-military cap still sits atop his now silver hair. He has only recently taken to wearing the very 90’s and hip goatie.
We ran into Sam in the original Nemaska where he deigned to answer our sometimes rude questions with a laugh and a smile. And the infinite patience of a Cree hunter.
How you would like to be remembered: I
would like them not to remember me too much.
Words you love to hear:
Gimeestuun? (Would you like to eat?)
Person you would like to see as grand chief: I
can’t know who would be a good grand chief
Epitaph on your headstone: “He
Title of movie of your life: Ga saj
heewed wen (The person who loves).
Person you admire the most: My wife, Nancy. She tells me “The older we get, the more I love you.”
What or who makes you laugh? There’s a lot of things that make me laugh.When I was younger, what made me laugh was the dances. People told me I was a good dancer.
Language you would like to speak: English.
Favorite Travel Destination: Anywhere I haven’t seen before.
What’s the farthest you’ve travelled?
Montreal. I had an eye operation there.
Most treasured possession: My high-powered rifle.
In the morning, the first thing I do is…
Greatest fear: I don’t know what to fear.
Favorite food: Rabbit and fish. Partridge! Nickname: No nickname.
Preferred mode of transportation: When I was younger, I preferredwalking and canoeing. But now I like to fly by plane to my hunting ground.
If you were an animal what it would be and why?
Bear. I’d eat berries and tease people.
Beaver, because that’s the animal I’ve killed the most in my life. I’ve killed100 in one season.
Moose. It’s another one I liked killing
Hobbies: Listening to stories. Hearing about other people.
Most embarrassing moment:
When we were younger, we’d play in the water, and I’d get shoved into the water.Favorite time of year: Fall, when the hunt starts.
Favorite time of day:
Morning, and the evening, that’s when I say, “Ok, I’m going to go to sleep now.”
First job: Clearing brush to build houses in Mistissini.
Favorite sport: Rugby Occupation: Hunter.