Members of the Maliseet and Micmac communities played an instrumental role in guiding the first non-aboriginal hunters and fisherfolk into the virgin wilds of New Brunswick.
It must have appeared to the paying customers that the game was limitless, and the forests and rivers stretched unbroken forever. We now know they do not. We owe these guides a great debt, which we can repay only by protecting the wilderness they once called home … and still do.
Someday I will meet this gentleman. We will have many tales to share, by a small fire, under a starry sky, beside a quiet stream.
My brother, you and I have stood
upon this selfsame shore,
on our travels through the wood;
though you came long before.
I can only vaguely dream
what purpose brought you here,
to spear the salmon in the stream
or stalk the furtive deer.
I see the trail you once walked down,
where it winds through leafy glen,
though your peaceful teepee town
has long since left the world of men.
I envy not your hardship ways,
your struggle to live off the land.
Many must have been the days
when the end seemed close at hand.
And when the winter blast blew cold,
how flimsy was your shelter,
and when the summer sun beat down,
how in the heat you’d swelter.
Yet you were master of your fate
in ways more so than I today.
So sad that time should separate
two souls who walk the same woods way.
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