Friday, August 8, 2008

Hanging Out In Siksika

Yellowfly Household

After the long travel day yesterday, and then staying up late to watch some NAIG(North American Indigenous Games) highlights, I got some decent sleep for my first real day in Siksika. I started the day out by going to the Deerfoot Sportsplex. After no exercise during the long drive yesterday, and a Tim Horton's donut & "coffee" drink, I felt the need to work off some calories, and this is where the Deerfoot came in. I think I've only been here once in my life (played a little bit of ball w/ my cousin Trudy----many many many years ago).
I walked in acting like I was a local, and asked "where's da gym"? I ended up going to the front office, and then was pointed to the gym. The exercise room was fairly small, but it had some nice equipment (treadmill, ellipticals, free weights, nautilus machine, etc.) I ended up getting a good 1+ hr in. I then checked out the rest of the Sportsplex. There is a big basketball gym, and there was also a hockey rink. I was totally surprised to find I was the only one using the facilities.

After showering up at Deerfoot, I made my way to the Band Office for some business---to pick up a couple of Distribution cheques which were waiting for me ($350, come to papa!). While there, I felt a little self-conscious driving my Prius around because the Band Office was packed and there were tons of people outside hanging out. I quickly felt better when another car stole all the attention---a bright blue Ferrari with the license plate: REVEAL. Wow, a Ferrari in Siksika! One tall and lanky Siksikaqwan walked by the Ferrari and said, "Welp, I need to move my car", he then laughed a smile at a friend nearby. I was hoping to cash my check, but the Bank was totallly packed--apparently, it was payday, and there was a line all the way down the hall at the bank. I canned that idea, and decided to make my way to the next place on my list: the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park (see separate blog entry).

Other places of interest I frequented were Old Sun Community College. This building houses our college, post secondary administration, Aitsiniki media, the Reztaurant (run by my cousin Christopher Eagle Ribs and his wife Tanya), and a library. This is an old building and its roots stem from a much darker time when it was originally a residential school--religiously-run school (residential or "boarding" school) which was a place where kids had to go to school after being taken from their parents. Generations of Native Peoples in Canada and the United States were scarred by this governmental policy whose goal was to assimilate Natives into the mainstream society.

Ok, lets talk about fly fishing, sunsets, and food!
After the Saturday session at the pow wow, I snuck away for some fly fishing on the Bow. It was alright. It was a bit windy, and I was driving a Prius on dirt roads. I found a spot on the West End of the reserve a ways downstream of The Spring. I was able to wade out to a stone island and cast to a few different runs, but to no avail. Didn't see anything. I did manage to pick a few choke cherries though--yummm. Just missed the saskatoon season--oh well.

One mission I was given was to get an auntie (Catherine Sleigh) to make some of her world famous bannock, a Blackfoot delicacy. Catherine didn't disappoint--Mmmmmm!

Bannock Bread

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