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Skownan Abinoonjiaag Travis Catcheway participates in his first Bison Hunt

Skownan Abinoonjiaag Travis Catcheway participates in his first Bison Hunt

Treaty 2 Territory – Our Abinoonjiiag are always watching. The environment is which they are raised, are the surroundings in which they feel that they belong. For example, if a child is raised around hockey, he/she will likely want to play hockey. If raised around baseball, he/she will likely want to play ball. If raised

Treaty 2 Territory – Our Abinoonjiiag are always watching. The environment is which they are raised, are the surroundings in which they feel that they belong. For example, if a child is raised around hockey, he/she will likely want to play hockey. If raised around baseball, he/she will likely want to play ball. If raised on the land, he/she will likely want to hunt, and fish.

Let us introduce you to one of the Abinoonjiaag from our Territory; Mr. Travis Catcheway. Travis is from the Skownan First Nation. He is a young man, with a passion for all the things he grew up around. Travis is an avid, elite hockey player. He is an astounding baseball player with incredible pitching abilities. Very often, at sporting events in and around the Territory, you will see him accompany his grandpa Bev Catcheway; they have a special bond those two. Bev is more than Grandpa though; he’s Travis’ best friend, his coach at times, his teacher, mentor, and his biggest fan.

Like all grandparents, and parents, we want the best for our young ones and we do our best to provide opportunities for them. Sometimes, that means depending on others to help teach them; like that familiar saying “It takes a village to raise a child”.

In late July, while Travis’ skates were hung up for the season, and his baseball cleats put away – Travis eagerly participated in something his ancestors would have done daily. Travis suited up and went out on the land to hunt Bison.

 

With his relatives as mentors, Travis experienced the hunt and harvesting of  two bison. He accompanied his relatives Anthony Catcheway, Arnold Catcheway, and Clarence Catcheway on a grueling 2 day hunt in attempt to take down 2 bison. From start to finish, Travis was shown the teachings needed to go out on the land. He was taught the importance of ceremony in preparation for the hunt; he was taught safety practices, he was taught how challenging it can be to capture an animal so huge, and the importance of working together.

Travis’ mentors taught him how to harvest the animals, butchering them, and the importance of ensuring no part of the animal is to be wasted. The hide, the skull etc all has purpose and will be used as these animals gave themselves up for sustenance.

This was more than just a hunt for Travis. The teachings that were passed down to him, already rewarded Travis in knowing that he helped feed the people of his Nation. All meat is being prepared for Skownan First Nation’s Annual Treaty Days Celebration and Pow Wow. Additionally, the hunters will go on to make kaskiiook and burgers for the feast.

There is nothing more important than our people connecting with the land, and our language. Travis got spend time around both during his experience. He will remember these teachings for the rest of his life. Because of this journey, and because these men were kind enough to include him and teach him, Travis will one day be a provider of wild meat from the land, and he too can pass this knowledge down to those following his footsteps.

Miigwech to Anthony, Arnold, and Clarence for taking this young man along on this journey. It is because we have citizens like you in our Nations, that our young people have a chance at keeping our traditions alive for generations to come.

Excellent work by all. Congratulations Travis on your fist bison hunt!  We are incredibly proud of you!

Contributed by: Marlene Davis, Nation & Economic Development

Marlene Davis
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