One spring I’m standing in a typical variety store in a pre-fab town called Radisson, which sprung up in the middle of a Chi-you’s (Elder’s) hunting ground during the building boom of James Bay Phase I. Since the project, that store is one of the few places where you can get alcohol in the Chisasibi area.

It was goose season; we were in town for one reason or another. I stood in the middle of one of the aisles looking for my Nemawon (hunting lunch), scanning the cookies, peanuts, what have you. I grabbed a couple of things.

Suddenly I felt someone watching me. I looked to the side and standing there was the Chi-you. In the middle of a “modern-day” variety store. Standing there where once as a young man he snowshoed to go check the snares which fed his family, through the aisle where they now have gummi worms and jelly beans.

He gave me a big smile, shook hands and asked me what I was doing. “Getting my Nemawon,” I replied. Then we went off on our way. I got a few more items. I checked out the drinks, picked up some cola, then went to the till to pay. On my way out I felt someone tugging my arm. I turned around and it was him; he’d been watching me all along. He gave me the biggest smile. With his eyes he wished me a good journey. I walked out with a good feeling in my heart.