The lessons Nicholas learned on the trap line provided a foundation for life. “I was most fortunate to be raised by my parents. I learned the seven sacred teachings — the strong values of love, caring and sharing which I try to carry and share with everyone around me.”
I had to attend school to receive Family Allowance. I left residential school after Grade nine to trap with my father. At 21, I was on my own. I led a very happy, peaceful life.”
For citizens of Cross Lake, 1974 was a seminal year. “Hydro brought electricity and running water. There was no darkness anymore. But other things changed. We lost our land and began to lose our language. Alcohol and drugs invaded our community. The flooding destroyed the hunting and fishing industry.
As cultural teacher, Nick imparts survival skills, legends and stories to students at the local Elementary School. Nick realizes the importance of proper guidance, having himself been blessed with exemplary role models. “Now that I’m also sitting on the University College of the North Elders Council, I’ve no time to go on the land. But I do miss it.”