A cousin of mine was getting married and here I was in Chisasibi. I looked for a ride to make it to Chibougamau where the wedding would be taking place but all the rides seemed to be full or had left already. That was Thursday night and the wedding was on Friday.

I did something I would never do outside of Cree country – I decided to hitchhike. On Friday I got up at 7:30 and had my thumb in the air by 8:00 a.m.

The first ride was from a Chee-Bee construction worker who took me as far as the gate. You know the one where they check all incoming vehicles for alcohol as Chisasibi is a dry community. I waited there for a while and got picked up by a tourist from France who had been out to the old Fort George island. He was a nice guy who was looking to see how the Indians lived. He was on his way to Radission so he dropped me off at the main highway.

While waiting for my next ride a lot of people stopped to see how I was doing but they were full. Another Cree from Nemaska picked me up and took me as far as there. Good company and good conversation. The ride went fast that way.

Next, a group of Americans who had been coming into Eeyou Istchee for the past seven years gave me a ride as far as Rupert’s River. They were planning to drop the canoes in and do some fishing.

Next up was a Mistissini Eeyouch who drove me to Chibougamau. We arrived at 9:10 p.m.

I was too late for the wedding but made it to the reception where I was well received by all.

Only in Cree country would I expect to do something like that and not worry about something bad happening to me on the road. In fact, only the next day, when I took a taxi from the hotel to try and find a ride home, did I experience anything remotely bad. I was ripped off by the Co-op taxi driver. I gave him a $20 and said to make it a $7 ride. I thought the tip I gave him of $2 was pretty good but it wasn’t until later I realized he only gave me $3 back.

I guess the time I had spent in the Cree communities and on the road put me in a situation where I let down my guard.

My ride had also left without me but that was alright as I hitchhiked home and was picked up by one of those cars who had stopped to see how I was doing on the main road after Chisasibi. She had dropped off all her passengers and now had room for me.

All’s well that ends well but watch your back when you hit civilization, you hear.