(told by Job Bearskin)

Again I’ll tell of my father how he was a healer. A man accidently chopped his foot—he almost chopped his heel off. He was chopping wood that was lying on the ground. His foot was on the firewood and chopped where the heel protrudes. My father said he almost chopped it off. Again they had no medicine.

It must have been spring. My father was the only healer. What my partner was talking about—ashwater. You know how ashes clump after sitting around a longtime at a camp, the old ashes. The women used it long ago instead of soap. My father ordered ashes to be boiled—that is what he used. When the boiled ashes were clear and filtered with nothing floating, he ordered the man to soak his foot in the lye during the day. It was like his foot was cooked white where it was chopped—it looked cooked. My father said no complications would happen as it healed. That was all we used, he said. Then the man who chopped himself was able to walk well.

Those are two people my father healed who were severly injured, when they had no medicine. That is what I wanted to tell you. Before whiteman medicine was in use, Cree medicine was what they used in that time. People of long ago knew about that. They were given knowledge of how to heal themselves. That is what talk looks like from long ago—ancient ways. That is what I wanted to tell you about.