|Sammy Yassie was born around the Duck Lake area in the far north of Manitoba, close to the sixtieth parallel, 75 years ago. Like most of the Sayisi Dene he was raised into a life of hunting, fishing and trapping. It was the only way to survive in the wilderness. Sammy moved around a lot with his people especially when following the caribou migration. Like all the Sayisi Dene he was forced to relocate to Churchill in the 1950's.
This was a very disturbing time for the Sayisi Dene. At this time Churchill's population was comprised of Inuit, Cree, non-Aboriginal and Metis. The Sayisi Dene were now on the lowest rung of the social ladder. One third of their people would perish in Churchill. Eventually Sammy and many of his people, those who had survived, left Churchill for North Knife Lake where they returned to the outdoor life they so loved. It was as if they had been given a second chance at life itself. They could hunt and fish in the country that had always sustained them. In 1973 Sammy Yassie relocated to Tadoule Lake which would be the future home for the Sayisi Dene.