- Dec 2020
"Up there the winters are harder yet than here, and still longer. We have only dogs to draw our sleds, fine strong dogs, but bad-tempered and often half wild, and we feed them but once a day, in the evening, on frozen fish.... Yes, there are settlements, but almost no farming; the men live by trapping and fishing ... No, I never had any difficulty with the Indians; I always got on very well with them. I know nearly all those on the Mistassini and this river, for they used to come to our place before my father died. You see he often went trapping in winter when he was not in the shanties, and one season when he was at the head of the Riviere aux Foins, quite alone, a tree that he was cutting for firewood slipped in falling, and it was the Indians who found him by chance next day, crushed and half-frozen though the weather was mild. He was in their game preserve, and they might very well have pretended not to see him and have left him to die there; but they put him on their toboggan, brought him to their camp, and looked after him. You knew my father: a rough man who often took a glass, but just in his dealings, and with a good name for doing that sort of thing himself. So when he parted with these Indians he told them to stop and see him in the spring when they would be coming down to Pointe Bleue with their furs-François Paradis of Mistassini,' said he to them, will not forget what you have done ... François Paradis.' And when they came in spring while running the river he looked after them well and every one carried away a new ax, a fine woollen blanket and tobacco for six months. Always after that they used to pay us a visit in the spring, and father had the pick of their best skins for less than the companies' buyers had to pay. When he died they treated me in the same way be cause I was his son and bore the same name, François Paradis. With more capital I could have made a good bit of money in this trade-a good bit of money."
In by "skins" is he referring to animal skins? Their only source of transportation was dog drawn sleds? What kind of dogs were these to endure such winters? Amazing how the natives were treated so poorly by colonizers and how nicely the natives care for them when they see them struggling even after how they have been treated