Birdshot and backlashes

by Bob Cary

Stuff that comes in the mail:<BR><BR>Tom Copeland from out in Big Bear City, California, writes in that he and buddies Brian Dobry and Evan Durland will take off by canoe on a trip from Lake Superior to Hudson Bay this summer. They will be following the route of Eric Sevareid who made the trip in 1930 as a high school graduate. <BR><BR>Sevareid’s adventure is printed in the book “Canoeing with the Cree” which was a best seller and is still in book marts. A high point in that book was the fact that Sevareid and his paddle pal got somewhat out of sync toward the end of the trip and had a fist fight on the river bank before they finally got their act together and with help of the Cree finished at Hudson Bay.<BR><BR>Copeland and his crew worked at the Boy Scout Base east of Ely as guides for Scout troops going into the Boundary Waters. They figure they’ve got the skills and now want to test their endurance in an ultimate northern trip. Our advice: Take lots of insect repellent and extra mosquito head nets.<BR><BR>On top of that letter, along comes a packet of material from Bill Forder, former forester who now lives at Aitkin, MN. Bill sent along a flier from the old Border Lakes Outfitting Co., Winton, operated by M. W. Peterson long ago. Forder and John O’Donnell Jr. were guides on a 1200-mile, two-month trip out of Peterson’s place that went from Winton to Hudson Bay about 1938. <BR><BR>Border Lakes did a lot of outfitting in the BWCA, packaging group trips at $4 per person per day, all equipment and food included. Guides were paid $8 per day and a non-resident fishing license was $3. Peterson’s ads pointed out that train fare from Chicago to Winton was $27.55 round trip.<BR><BR>There were a number of German prisoners of war located in northern Minnesota during WWII and the Forest Service printed up a small pamphlet of German words and phrases so USFS personnel could converse with them. Probably two of the most used, phrases were: “das ist alles” and “zeit zum essen” which translates as “that’s all, time to eat.” <BR><BR> In conclusion, Forder sent along part of Chapter One of the New Testament translated into the Ojibwa language by the American Bible Society, printed in New York in 1856. Because it is written in Ojibwe, there is included an orthography key to pronunciation so even if the reader couldn’t understand Ojibwe, at least he could pronounce the words right. It always seemed a little odd that after the white man swiped all the Indian’s land, we then came along with our religion to convince the Indians that God really loved them even though maybe we didn’t.<BR><BR>If we really wanted to do something for the Ojibwe people, we could restore to them some of their former tribal land, like maybe the Boundary Waters. The Canadians restored to the La Croix Ojibwe a third of Quetico Park to manage and operate in. Possibly, we could so something like that for the Ojibwe people down here. On the other hand, they are doing pretty well now with the Casino and possibly they may be able to buy back the land the white man swiped, using money the white man is pumping into the slot machines.<BR><BR>Like the guy says: If the Indians had had the guns and the Pilgrims had only bows and arrows, our ancestors would still be sitting in boats off the coast of Massachusetts waiting to land.<BR><BR>Back to reality: the lake surfaces are firming up and the fish are starting to move around. Time to go drill a hole and get a fish dinner.