|Esther Linklater grew up in the Cree settlement of Otoh-owin near Nelson House. Born on December 26 along the trap line, Esther believes she is in her nineties.
As a young girl, Esther walked six miles to school each day until grade three. Because of limited education, she cannot read or write. Esther moved from camp to camp when growing up. Marrying Mathew Linklater at age 15, Esther remembers crying during the arranged marriage ceremony. Their relationship grew over the years and Esther gave birth to 15 children, 10 survived past childbirth.
At age 17, Esther experienced the 'shaking tent' ceremony with an Elder communicating with animal spirits. She recalled understanding the four animals speaking with the Elder. The experience inspired her to learn traditional medicine from her grandfather.
Esther‘s smile displays a strong faith that love can conquer all hardships. She told her daughter, Barbara, "There are two roads to travel, the good and the bad. Choose the good one and walk it to the fullest."