Manigotogan/Hollow Water First Nation

Pictures 1. 2. 3. Hollow Water

The Ojibway community of Hollow Water is situated approximately 290 km. northeast of Winnipeg on the east shore of Lake Winnipeg. Manigotogan, located 20 minutes away, is a predominantly Metis settlement. I visited often, accompanied by my friend, Reg Simard, who is from Manigotogan. My first trip was in June, 1998 and since then I have been back many times. Years ago it was the saw mills and the fishing wharfs that attracted men who entered the work force. The saw mills have for the most part disappeared but the fishing industry remains.

Reg and I were driving around Hollow Water and noticed Dora Moneyas on her front porch. We decided to stop and possibly photograph her. After a few minutes of conversation she warmed up to the idea and even put on her scarf for us. I took several photographs of this very shy woman but it was only when she turned to leave did I capture the particular expression I wanted.

We continued our drive when I noticed a couple of kids splashing in a wash tub perched on a picnic table. It described that lazy, hot afternoon perfectly.

Picture 4. Dora Moneyas
Picture 5. Kids in wash tub

Reg and I determined by phone call the weather was clear in Manigotogan so we decided to make the trip. We arrived at Roddy Raven’s house at noon. We took his kitchen chair outside and placed it by the side of his house. Roddy appeared shortly with his violin. He played several songs for us and as he did so his feet tapped along. Roddy was in the mood to ‘cut loose’ but as I came to discover, fiddle players love to have a guitar playing back up. Reg did his best to encourage Roddy to play solo while I photographed him from various angles. By 1:30 pm. we left and knowing we were heading to James Cowley’s house next we borrowed a guitar from someone in the community. Jim had played with Roddy for 20 years but had suffered a stroke several years ago. This had left one hand partially paralyzed. Even though Jim or ‘Jeemus’ as he is called, could no longer play the instrument, it sat comfortably on his lap. He began to relax and tell stories about his playing and antics in the community which allowed me to move about and photograph him.

Picture 6. James Cowley

Visited Hollow Water in the fall to see some of the fishing activity that goes on. Fishing remains a major source of income for the inhabitants of the community. At this time of year, pickerel and sauger are the primary catch. I arrived at the wharf in the early afternoon and it didn’t take long before the boats began to arrive heavily laden with tubs full of fish. The fishermen were dressed warmly as it was a chilly, fall day and particularly cold on the lake. The tubs were unloaded and put on a motorized ramp which entered the fish processing building. This spared the men the back breaking chore of carrying those heavy loads up the wharf. The fishermen were of all ages, some grandsons out with their grandfathers who had spent a lifetime on Lake Winnipeg. I took one picture of an older fellow sharpening his filleting knife. He was about to enter the building where he would sort and fillet his day’s catch. He moved unhurriedly with the assurance of one who had performed this task many times in the past.

Picture 7. Fish arriving
Picture 8. Fisherman on ramp sharpening knife

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Copyright 2002 Gerald Kuehl