It wasn’t long after the boy was born May, 1925, the shortened version, ‘Neb,’ was bestowed. Neb was raised in the Oji-Cree community of St. Theresa Point, nestled on the southern shore of Island Lake and home to approximately 2600 people. Neb was the youngest of his family of nine.
John Flett had his son in the wilderness at an early age. “My father was skilled in the bush and taught me to survive. After I learned to properly set traps and snares, I was trapping alone with my dog team by age twelve. I was excited to make money.
John Flett was a skilled carver. Neb paid particular attention when his father was working. Using a steam apparatus John had constructed to bend wood, Neb, at age thirteen, carved an inaugural pair of snowshoes, made from birch wood and moose hide. Neb’s skills continued to develop.
Neb carved for over 65 years, maintaining Ojibway tradition while walking his own path. Neb was forced to quit carving several years ago because of declining eyesight. For a man who was constantly honing his skills in the workshop, it made it harder to fill the hours. “It is what I miss the most.” Nebuchadnezzar Flett, the man who loved to carve, passed away in 2012.