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CreeeldertellsFortSmithtalesofyouthNorthernLifeMuseumandCulturalCentrekicksoffnewspeakerseries13NORTHERNERSELDERSTuesdayFebruary1020152AspenRoadHayRiverNTX0E0P0867874-32245-4CourtoreilleStreetHayRiverNTX0E1G2867874-4747GetthegiftyouknowShewilllove926MACKENZIEHIGHWAYHAYRIVERNTPhone867-874-2771.TollFree1-866-327-0717www.monsterrec.comIfyourValentineisgettingcoldfeetwarmthemupatMonsterRec.40offallinstockwinterfootwear40offallinstockwinterfootwearByDALICARMICHAELResidentsofFortSmithweregivenapeekintohistorylastweekatanewspeakerseriesatthelocalmuseum.Itwaswithasenseofhumourandanex-tensiveknowledgethatCreeelderRosalieBourkeandherdaughterGladysMacPhersoncharmedandentertainedanaudienceattheNorthernLifeMuseumandCulturalCentretheeveningofFeb.5whereBourkenowinherseventiesbecametheofcialopeningguestatthemuseumsnewspeakerserieshostedinpartnershipwiththeNWTMtisNationsCreeLanguageProgram.Bourketoldtalesofheryouthfuldaysliv-ingonthelandandherascentintoadulthoodridinguptheAthabascaRivertoFortSmithaswellassometraditionalCreelegends.Paintingapicturemostoftodaysyouthcouldonlyimagineshetalkedaboutherfam-ilyleadingapackofhorsesonagruelingjour-neyacrosstheIsadoreRivertowardsouth-ernAlbertaeveryyeartostockuponwintersupplies.Shespokeoflifeonthelandwhereshehappilyremaineduntilbeingforcedtoattendresidentialschoolattheageofseven.BourkefranklydiscussedthehighsandlowsofherexperienceattheFortVermillionresidentialschoolinthe1940s.Shereectedupontheunfairtreatmentsheand130othergirlssufferedastheyateoldstalebreadlledwithbugsandrottenmeatwhilethepriestsandnunswhorantheschoolatelikekings.Oneofherchoresatschoolwastendingtokitchendutiesmakingsuretheroomwascleanandthefoodwasprepped.Whenitcametimetoworkawayathervarioustasksshealwaysmadesuretowearadresswithbigpocketssoshecouldsneakintothepantryandcollectallsortsofdriedfruits.IstolefromtherichtogivetothepoorandIneveronceregretteditshechortled.AuentBushCreespeakerevennowshetoldanenchantedcrowdaboutspeakingherlanguagewithothergirlsbehindtheschooleverydayhidingfromthenunstopreserveapieceofherculture.MymothersaidifIkeeptalkingEnglishIwasgoingtolosemylanguageBourkesaid.IfIlostmylanguageIwouldntbeabletotalktoher.Bourkespokelovinglyofhermotheramed-icinewomanandmidwifewhowasforcedtoraisesixchildrenalonewhenherhusbanddiedatanearlyage.Feistyandfearlessshetrappedandhuntedforherchildrenalmosteverydaytokeepthemfedwhiletheywereathome.WhenitcametimeforBourketoraiseherownchildrenshetriedtousethosesametraditionalmedicinesthathermotherusedbutfoundshewasnotabletorememberallofthemdespiteherbestefforts.WhatIknowIllshareforapriceshesaidnotingthatabitoftobaccoormatcheswouldsufceaspayment.IcantjustgoaheadandtelleverythingShedidrememberhowtohuntandtrapanactivityshedidwithherlatehusbandandsharedwithherownkids.Shedemonstratedaseriesofmoosecallsforthecrowdandshowedphotosofoneofherbiggestharvests.AftertakingsomequestionsfromthecrowdandtellingthetraditionalCreestoryofthetrickyWesakechakBourkegavesometipsabouthowtoliveaslongandasfulllingalifeasshehasBehappyallthetimeshesaid.HelppeoplelikeIdidwhenIwasstealingfromthepantry.Ifyouhaveareligionitsgoodtopray.Bourkesaidshewashappytobeaskedtoshareherexperienceswiththecrowdanden-couragedotherelderstosharetheirknowl-edgeaswell.Wehavetokeepourstoriesaliveyouknowshesaid.Thenextspeakerserieswillfeatureadis-cussionwithIbKristensenandJacquesVanPeltabouttheoriginsoftheThebachaLop-petonFeb.26.PhotoDaliCarmichaelIstolefromtherichtogivetothepoorandIneveronceregretteditRosalieBourkeCreeelderFortSmithCreeelderRosalieBourkeleftsharesstoriesofheryouthandhercultureastherstguestoftheNorthernLifeMuseumandCulturalCentresspeakerseriesonFeb.5withsomeassistancefromherdaughterGladysMacPherson.