Turtle Mountain Metis - 2. Trapping

Many Elders remember sunny summer days spent sitting on the banks of a lake or creek with a home- made fishing pole in hand. These fishing poles were sometimes no more complicated than a string with
a hook tied onto the end.

“We fished with a hook and a line. You could use any kind of bait or hook,
A pin would work.” (Roger Goodon).

The most common type of fish coming out of the lakes in the summertime was perch, though Lorraine Goodon recalled that “they were bigger then than they are now.” Summer fishing was no problem; there was no limit to the amount of fish anyone could catch. It was during the spring spawning run that people had to be more careful.

For a few weeks every spring, masses of spawning fish came crowding from Lake Metigoshe through Canada Creek to Lake Dromore where they were heading to lay their eggs. When the time came in spring, the word was excitedly spread by mouth throughout the community and everyone headed down to Canada Creek with nets, gunny sacks, washtubs or copper boilers to fill up with fish. The spawning fish ran thickest between the banks of Canada Creek and were easiest to catch there. Murray King remembers they ran so thick that “we would just get into the water and throw them out. You could shoot into the water and they would float to the top and you could throw them out.” 

Ernie McLeod on his trapline

Frank Goodon tanning a beaver skin.