Six years after Oscar was born he was on the trap line with his father, Bruce Anderson. They were hunting moose at the time when a stick pierced Oscar’s right eye. It was thought the wound was gangrenous and Oscar was not expected to life. He survived but lost his eye.
For one year Oscar began living with an old Norwegian trapper named Bert Ried before attending school in South Indian Lake. At 13 he left. ‘I had to help my dad who was suffering on the trap line in order to feed his family. In the next year there were times when I was so hungry, I would throw a frozen rabbit on a fire and eat it.’
In 1956, at age 17, Oscar married Irene Colomb from Waboden. The couple had 11 children and adopted 8 others. Oscar eventually took over his father’s trap line (called Trap line #1). ‘We were doing well until the white man came and destroyed the land with the construction of the hydro dam. The flood destroyed the fishing and trapping industry.’
In 2008 Oscar received a Manitoba award for his 56 years as a commercial fisherman. Bruce Anderson and son, Oscar, hold the record at 87 years, for the longest held family trap line in northern Manitoba. Oscar reminisced about his life, ’I loved being on the land. Every morning I would wonder what I was going to catch that day.’