Some things never change. The other day, I heard hunting ducks was still in fashion. I’m one who believes in eating ducks unlimited, and can concoct a succulent roast duck a l’orange at the twist of the rind and Cointreau cap, turning an otherwise traditional roast duck into a tangy delight. Why the change? Just to impress friends and those tired of boiled, fried, dried and smoked traditional foods. The taste for store-bought food goes back way, way back to when 25 cents was one skunk skin.
My uncle told me of his quest for a change in diet when he tired of fish and wild meat, scrumptious as it was. Although basic fare, a can of stew would create saliva lines down one’s cheeks and jowls and give rise to a quick barter of a marble or two. In those days, marbles were nearly considered currency among young boys. In his day, a diet of ptarmigan and rabbit day in and day out caused a certain lusting for canned peaches, making two major occasions an extra special day. Halloween was celebrated with rock-hard caramel in glitzy black and orange wrapping (which is still here today, albeit a dollar a dozen versus a penny for two). That satisfied one’s sugar craving until Christmas. Christmas often is affiliated with candy and feasting, to break the monotonous iron-rich diet of protein ladled upon protein. (Today, it’s not called protein, but poutine).
Another thing that I’ve noticed that hasn’t changed much is the fact that we seem to think we are impoverished for some reason. I believe that is because we tend to cling to certain notions from past experiences that continue to haunt us. Many other nationals wish they were in our mistchins.
Other trends which indicate that we are changing include the constant fear that we will be ambushed along the political trail to self governance. Who would bother ambushing a nation that has no means of protecting its own sovereignty? Obviously we are again oblivious to this observation.
So what can we change? Not the weather. Not the system. Only the players change when they get tired and get off the ice, the same thing goes for the system. Life is one big hockey game with the elders defending the net with their wisdom. The defence are the back benchers of our Cree system. And the left and right wings have to work together with the centre to move us forward.
On the other bench, the system’s defence system is riddled with intricate laws and loopholes, making nearly every shot from our blue line an impossible one. You notice I said almost impossible. Our odds are a lot greater than they were three decades ago in the rink called Canada. We were the puck, getting passed around until a bureaucrat would score a big one and move on up the government ladder, leaving our interests to the next line of paper pushers.
Now that we have a good coach and a small slew of lawyers who can speak Cree, it’s time to start scouting for forwards and defence, for goalies and cheerleaders, for people who would like to participate and play, rather than get shuffled around or be content to listen to the game on the radio.
Maybe one day our Gretzky, Orr or Crosby will come along to save the play and score a hat trick worthy of keeping in the great hall of fame, who knows?