Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Roy and Avis Sam

Roy and Avis Sam were interviewed on August 7, 2014 by Leslie McCartney and Barbara Cellarius at their home in Northway, Alaska. In this interview, Roy talks about growing up around Northway and his father's use of the surrounding area for hunting and trapping. He identifies a lot of locations, including their Native names. He also discusses his own trapping, fishing and hunting activities, and changes in the land, weather and animal populations he has witnessed. Roy's wife, Avis, participates in the interview as well, although she does not say much until part way into the interview. She did not want her photo taken. Avis talks about her childhood, hunting and fishing locations, and changes in the weather and life in the village.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2013-14-13

Project: Wrangell-St.Elias National Park
Date of Interview: Aug 7, 2014
Narrator(s): Roy Sam, Avis Sam
Interviewer(s): Leslie McCartney, Barbara Cellarius
Transcriber: Sue Beck
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.

Sections

The old Northway village

Hunting and trapping with his father

Roy's parents and their hunting and trapping area

Roy's father's trapline, his own trapping, and selling furs

Community's current trapping activity

Changes in wildlife populations

Fishing on the Chisana River

Growing up in Northway

Construction of the airport runway and the Alaska Highway

Changes in the land, weatherm and animals

Fishing in Moose Creek

Traveling for the seasonal round of subsistence

Berry picking and root collecting

Berry preservation and starvation times, and changes in eating habits

Birch bark baskets and learning how to do things by watching

Roy working for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Army

Speaking their Native language and language preservation

Avis' childhood and working hard

Looking at maps to identify place names and hunting areas

Stories about Jatahmund Lake (Killer Lake)

Identifying rivers and lakes

Fishing and hunting at Lake Creek

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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.

Transcript

ROY SAM: Today -- ALL: Today is August 7th!

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right, 2014, and we’re in the home of Avis and Roy Sam. Thanks, Roy, for letting us come and -- and visit you and Avis. I’m Leslie McCartney and Barbara Cellarius is here, and, of course, you’re Roy Sam. And thank you.

Roy, can we maybe start you just tell us where you were born and maybe who your parents were?

ROY SAM: I was born in Northway village, old village. And my parents are Frank Sam and my mom is Annie Sam.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Where was the old Northway village?

ROY SAM: Across from where it is right now.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Oh. And when did they move it?

ROY SAM: Around 1946 or ’47.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And -- and why did they move it?

ROY SAM: That -- it was after the flood.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did it flood often? The old village?

ROY SAM: Just that one time, I remember. But water was in the house, mud going in the house.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So this is higher land here then, is it, than where the old village was?

ROY SAM: In -- where they are right now, I guess a little bit higher.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right.

ROY SAM: It didn’t cover all the ground on this side. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Oh.

ROY SAM: On the other side it covered, I don't know -- LESLIE McCARTNEY: Gosh.

ROY SAM: Our -- our house was on -- on posts.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Posts?

ROY SAM: But still, water got in there.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Was it a bad winter? Like lots of -- was it a wet spring?

ROY SAM: No, I think that snow melted and water just -- with that glacier water and then that snow melting. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah.

ROY SAM: It's just too much for that river, I guess.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So maybe, Roy, can you tell us about when you were young. Did your -- did your dad have a trapline? Did you go out on the trapline?

ROY SAM: Like I said, when I was young my dad had -- I mean, they’re traveling, hunting, you know, all over with my -- I mean, but Julius and my oldest brother, David, my sister, Susie.

Susie’s gone and my oldest brother is gone. And they were the one that traveled with my dad and my mom. I mean, everywhere.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right. And Avis has just joined us. Thank you, Avis. We’re glad you’re feeling better today.

So where did they go then, Roy? What areas did -- ? Do you -- do you want the maps out to show us?

ROY SAM: No, I can -- LESLIE McCARTNEY: You can tell us?

ROY SAM: Where Julius and David was born there's -- if -- if you look towards Black Hill up here? There’s one hill that’s way --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Pointed?

ROY SAM: Pointed way up. I don’t know how many -- a thousand feet way, way, way up. And it looked like moose ear, so they call it Ch’idzagn’. They call it our language.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh huh.

ROY SAM: That -- I mean, that name, that hill? And that’s where Julius and David, that’s where they were born. Way, way out there. I was born in Northway, me.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And where were your parents born? Do you know at all?

ROY SAM: My mom is from Tetlin. Her father is Big John and her mother is Jessie John. Jessie Tega (phonetic) is her last name.

And my mom’s -- my mom’s mother mother, her name is Tega, and she’s buried between in here and Chisana. Somewhere. I don’t know exactly where, but there’s three or four people that’s buried between here and Chisana.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And they came from big families, lots of brothers and sisters?

ROY SAM: Yeah. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah.

ROY SAM: My mom got five sister. And then my mom’s mother sister, they had lots of kids, too.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Avis, do you want to tell us where you were born and who your parents were? No? Okay.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And have you ever been to Chisana?

ROY SAM: Not me.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Not you.

ROY SAM: But my -- my dad and them. I mean, they go, like I said, Batzulnetas, Suslota. I don’t know. I think they went as far as Chistochina. And then --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And were they -- ?

ROY SAM: And then Nabesna, and then from there they have a trail to Chisana. I think that trail is still open right now. Animal keep it open.

And then from there they go to, like, Snag. There’s no border line then. And then Beaver Creek and then into Alaska again and then -- Well, they went north -- that -- that part. Well, they go far to, I mean, Ladue (River). This way.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Up north --

ROY SAM: Yeah. And then they -- and then they go Chicken, Jack Wade, and then Kechumstuk.

And then Mansfield, Tanacross, and then I don’t know where they go in Dot -- around Dot Lake. Wherever they can get fish. That’s where they camp.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So -- so they were traveling to look for fish?

ROY SAM: Wherever they can get food.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Mm-hm. So hunting, too?

ROY SAM: Most the time they're hunting moose and caribou.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did they have traplines, too, Roy?

ROY SAM: My dad had trapline. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Oh.

ROY SAM: If you go straight up to Black Hill, right up here?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

ROY SAM: From there, he would go --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Go to the west?

ROY SAM: West. Past Tetlin. All the way to past Tetlin. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Okay.

ROY SAM: It take him about one week to get there, and one week to come back.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And he used dogteam then?

ROY SAM: He just had one -- one dog and his toboggan.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So did he walk then?

ROY SAM: He walk and he -- he break trail and then that one dog he got, pull the toboggan with all his stuff in there.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And he had several cabins along the way to stop in?

ROY SAM: No. They make -- they don’t make cabin.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Ah. Just make camp.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Use tent?

ROY SAM: Not tent. They use a spruce tree -- BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh. Okay.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did you ever go with him? On the trapline?

ROY SAM: Not on the trapline, no. Like I said, my dad was -- can’t do anything when I was --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: He was older.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: But your brothers went sometimes?

ROY SAM: Not trapline. Later Julius, me, and David, I mean, we -- we did trap up there.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And did you do it the same way as your dad with a dog and a toboggan?

ROY SAM: No. We had dogteam.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: You had dogteam. How many dogs did you have?

ROY SAM: Five, I think we had. They were --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Big dogs?

ROY SAM: Big. Yeah.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And what -- what kinds of animals did you trap?

ROY SAM: Marten, black fox, lynx, and -- I don’t think we tried -- I never tried for a wolf.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did you ever do beaver or muskrat, too?

ROY SAM: Beaver, muskrat --

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And did you tan the hides or did you send them out to someone?

ROY SAM: Right now we send them out. She used to tan her own beaver.

AVIS SAM: Roy, you had to sell those fur to get money.

ROY SAM: To get grocery, yeah. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So did you sell them here locally? Was there a fur buyer locally? ROY SAM: Yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Price of fur good then?

ROY SAM: It was -- I think marten we used to get, like, thirty-five dollar.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And what years was this then, Roy?

ROY SAM: It’s in the '50s.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And then after that the fur market kind of dropped off, didn’t it?

ROY SAM: For a while. Yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did it?

ROY SAM: And then right now they’re way up again.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right. But you don’t trap now? ROY SAM: No.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: No. Any of your kids trap?

ROY SAM: Howard. He caught -- caught some wolves. He just give it to his mother, you know.

And then she sent ‘em out to get tanned. March 10, I think he caught the three -- three wolves, he caught.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Is that something he does every year or just occasionally?

ROY SAM: He just started it a few years ago.

AVIS SAM: He’s too busy. ROY SAM: And then --

AVIS SAM: He had to go trap -- I mean, he had to go to work.

ROY SAM: And then there was some -- he had friends, like, white guy friends ‘round here. They would trap -- they trap, too. And they would teach Howard how to trap wolves. He’s catching more wolf than us.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Are there many people here in Northway who trap now?

ROY SAM: William. Down there.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh. Say, compared to when you were young and when you were trapping.

Are there more people? The same number? Fewer people?

ROY SAM: Fewer families around here. They have to trap just, I mean, so they can -- so --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: To get --

ROY SAM: -- they catch to buy groceries. There was no welfare then.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did people then go out and just still get moose and caribou for their families, back then?

ROY SAM: We needed, I mean, the moose were pretty scarce, too. But when they can, yes. Yes.

Louie and them, they were -- I mean, they were -- they were up in that area there all their lifetime.

Around 1940, I guess around there somewhere, they moved to Northway. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Why do you think the moose were so scarce back then, then, Roy?

ROY SAM: I would say too much wolves.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Oh. But the population’s come back up now? More moose now?

ROY SAM: Right now? Right up here where Howard hunts for moose, right up here? BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: On refuge land? He said there’s no moose up there. Too many wolf.

When he caught three of them in March. But there’s just too many. Those wolves were right here, right out here. Not here, but --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Not so far.

ROY SAM: Where Teasdale, our neighbor, our pastor? LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah?

ROY SAM: They got -- from there they got trail to the village? And they go with snowmachine and they see -- what they say, about forty wolves, huh? Forty or more wolves.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So, a big pack?

ROY SAM: Uh-huh. And that’s when Howard catch three out -- out -- out of there.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So with that many wolves, there must not be very many rabbits around either?

ROY SAM: Hardly any rabbits for last how many years? At least five years, huh?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So you -- you talked earlier about your dad going and looking for fish places. Are -- do you -- do you fish?

ROY SAM: This year -- last year and this year I didn’t fish.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. But before then?

ROY SAM: Yeah, I get like, seven hundred in -- I mean -- And then she would dry maybe a hundred or more fish to eat.

AVIS SAM: And to share.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: You shared a lot of your fish? AVIS SAM: We have to. ROY SAM: Lots of it, yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah. And where -- where was your fish camp or where did you fish, Roy?

ROY SAM: Fish -- I fish on the Chisana River. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm mm.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: For whitefish?

ROY SAM: Where -- yeah. Where Moose Creek runs into Chisana River, right there.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And how do you catch the fish?

ROY SAM: A gill net. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So you’d get seven hundred fish, but you’d share a lot with other people?

ROY SAM: Yeah, all the way down to Chistochina.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So you know people down in Chistochina?

ROY SAM: Uh-huh. We have grandson there.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh! Okay.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So the sharing’s mostly with your family?

ROY SAM: No. People down there, I mean, we know ‘em and they -- That one year when I caught seven hundred, I think -- I think I took over one hundred fish down there.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. Do you ever trade whitefish for salmon?

ROY SAM: If they want to, I mean --

AVIS SAM: If they have enough.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: If they catch enough for their own use.

ROY SAM: They look at me funny when I get down there with whitefish. How much, they say?

AVIS SAM: We always trade.

ROY SAM: And you know, gas is expensive, but I just -- I just do it.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: Anything else? BARBARA CELLARIUS: Um.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So when you were growing up, did you stay a lot in Northway then or were you -- did you have to go to school somewhere at all, Roy?

ROY SAM: There was school right here in Northway, but I didn’t -- I didn’t -- I didn’t go. Maybe --

AVIS SAM: They don't have a --

ROY SAM: I didn’t even finish grade -- grade school.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So you didn’t have to go away to go to school or anything like that?

ROY SAM: I could have, but I didn’t.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: When did kids start going to school regularly here? When did they build the school?

ROY SAM: Was that 1940s? AVIS SAM: Nope. ROY SAM: 1938?

AVIS SAM: I don’t think so. Later than that I think. 19 --

ROY SAM: I think it’s somewhere in 1938, they built --

AVIS SAM: I don’t know. ROY SAM: They built --

AVIS SAM: There was no road.

ROY SAM: Yeah, there was a road from Junction to --

AVIS SAM: In '30s! They were just being built. Highway was just being built in '30s, so there’s no school.

ROY SAM: They got school in village.

AVIS SAM: How their teacher come?

ROY SAM: We had -- the first one we had was -- it was a Russian teacher.

And he was the one that saved my life, too. I had caught pneumonia and he work with me 'til I came out of it.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Gee.

AVIS SAM: Was he an old man?

ROY SAM: Not old old. I don’t think you were around then.

AVIS SAM: If I was, I was too young to remember.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did lots of people get pneumonia back then, Roy?

ROY SAM: Pneumonia?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Or TB?

ROY SAM: Yeah, TB, they --

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Lots of people in your -- in your villages got TB?

ROY SAM: My sister died of TB. My brother -- my two sister I think died of TB.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So how many brothers and sisters did you have, Roy?

ROY SAM: There’s David, Julius, Samuel. And then me. And then Adam. And then there’s Samuel again and Reuben.

Right now, there’s one, two, three -- there’s four of us that’s still alive right now.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So, there’s you and Julius and who else?

ROY SAM: Reuben and Samuel. And one sister.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And who’s that?

ROY SAM: Ida. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Ida. And she live here, too?

ROY SAM: No, she live in Tok.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So you must have seen a lot of changes in your life, with the building of the road and --

ROY SAM: I was just a little guy when all that happened. When they were build -- building the runway, you know.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: Because my dad’s boss -- my dad was working up there. And my dad’s boss would pick me up with my dad and then they -- I mean, he would let me ride with him maybe two, three hours. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: You said your dad’s boss. What was your Dad doing?

ROY SAM: Workin’ on that runway.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Oh! Building -- building the airport? ROY SAM: Uh-huh.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did he work on the -- on the road, too, your dad?

ROY SAM: No, just -- that one there was just all mostly black. And they come through. I guess they were in the Army, too.

And when they -- in Northway the reason nobody got sent out to war, they were all workin’ on runway. Putting the runway in right here in Northway.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And was the runway before the road? Or did the road come first?

ROY SAM: Same time.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Same time. Okay. And have you two seen any changes in the land since you were younger?

ROY SAM: Like?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Like, maybe different plants, different animals, changes in the seasons, like, colder temperatures or warmer temperatures.

ROY SAM: Warmer temperatures. It’s maybe thirty or forty years ago, it started that that around here.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Warmer winters, warmer summers?

ROY SAM: Yeah. I mean, right now it’s really warm winter. I know, if it got to fifty below I don’t think -- maybe one day?

AVIS SAM: I don’t remember.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Whereas before it would be cold like that for a longer time?

ROY SAM: Two weeks.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: I think the last cold weather we had was in 1980 -- ‘80 -- ‘81 or ‘80. And even there, that one lasted maybe three weeks. And all the moose, I mean, their lips --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: They were all frosted up?

ROY SAM: No, they were frozen. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh! Frozen.

AVIS SAM: Rabbits died.

ROY SAM: Rabbits they just fall over. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: They don't eat. They can't eat.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: 'Cause their mouth -- mouth is frozen?

AVIS SAM: That was because that winter it rained. And then -- then the willows and those little --

ROY SAM: What they eat.

AVIS SAM: Brush they eat is coated with ice and they can’t smell it. So they just starved to death.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Has that happened since then?

AVIS SAM: No. ROY SAM: No.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Not like that?

ROY SAM: Not since it was last --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Last real cold?

ROY SAM: Yeah. And then later we noticed that, I mean, that those mountains up there? We used to -- all summer we used to see snow up there.

And that last thirty years, I would say, we -- I mean, all the snow would melt up there.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: What about the ground thawing in different places, Roy? Have you noticed that?

ROY SAM: Right here.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right here?

ROY SAM: Yeah. LESLIE McCARTNEY: You got slump holes here? ROY SAM: When I move right here. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh huh.

ROY SAM: See that pole we put out there?

BARBARA CELLARIUS and LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yes.

ROY SAM: Five feet is all that could go.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh. To dig down?

ROY SAM: The reason is it’s permafrost. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: And then when they put my septic tank back here, they -- they measured the permafrost. It was nineteen foot down.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Mm-hm. It's a big change.

ROY SAM: What’s gonna happen if it -- and then when they drill my well out there, it’s three hundred and twelve or fifteen foot solid -- solid permafrost.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: What -- what year did you have the well put in then, Roy?

ROY SAM: 1990.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: 1990. Yeah. And the pole, when was it put in?

ROY SAM: Same.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: In 1990?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah. And the septic tank?

AVIS SAM: Later. ROY SAM: That was later.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Later. Right.

ROY SAM: That’s why I say when they measure permafrost. I mean, they gotta have at least nine or ten feet before they can put septic tank in.

And when they measure this one, it was nineteen foot down.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So have you noticed the permafrost melting on the side of riverbanks or slumping or sinkholes or anything like that?

ROY SAM: There’s a sinkhole right back there. Behind my house.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: You never used to see those when you were younger?

ROY SAM: It was small when we first moved right there, but right now it’s way --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Gotten bigger.

ROY SAM: Yeah. That’s where I should put my house. And then I wouldn’t -- my -- my water would be right there.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: But there might be other problems.

ROY SAM: It’s -- this one out here, three hundred and forty feet before I get water. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: When did you build this house, Roy?

ROY SAM: 1987 to 1990, I think. 1989, I think we move in here.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm mm. And I notice that there’s a few other places along the road. Nobody’s living in them anymore.

ROY SAM: There’s an old cabin, that first one we had. That red house down there?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah.

ROY SAM: It’s -- that one there was big house. That’s -- I -- I bought that house. It was there already.

BARBARA CELLARIUS and LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: And five acre came with it.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Close to the river?

ROY SAM: Yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Is there much fish in Moose Creek at all?

ROY SAM: Should be right now.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So besides whitefish, are there other kinds of fish that you harvest?

ROY SAM: Just whitefish --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Just whitefish?

ROY SAM: -- we harvest. If we catch burbot, we just eat it right now.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. I’ve heard burbot are good eating.

ROY SAM: They say it's better than halibut. More moist in there when you catch it. Halibut is dry.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And do you catch the burbot when you’re catching whitefish or do you catch them at a different time?

ROY SAM: You can catch ‘em year ‘round. Anytime, you can catch ‘em. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Roy, you said that your family used to travel around where all the food was. Did most of the people who lived in old Northway, did they mostly travel around most of the time?

ROY SAM: Most of the time what they do is they -- like -- like, right now they would be way out in the country. Trying to get the moose and caribou.

And then after they get done with that one there they -- know when before I said the winter time and then in March, that’s when they get all their muskrat in March to May.

BARBARA CELLARIUS and LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: And then after they get done with that, they -- we have the fish camp right down here. And that’s where everybody move to catch their fish.

There’s two places. Fish camp and then other one is -- on a map it say Charlieskin (Village).

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh, I’ve seen that.

ROY SAM: It’s -- it’s not. That’s white man -- that said Charlieskin.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And what’s the Native name for it?

ROY SAM: Chaałąy.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: What does that name mean?

ROY SAM: Chaałąy? LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.

ROY SAM: Open water wintertime, I guess. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Okay.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Okay. And then from then, then. Where would they go from then?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: When you’re done with fishing, with fish camp. What was the next thing people did?

ROY SAM: Yeah. After fish camp what they do?

AVIS SAM: I don’t really know that. ROY SAM: They get -- AVIS SAM: They just go --

ROY SAM: When those -- when ducks. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

ROY SAM: I mean they lose their --

AVIS SAM: When they’re molting.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Right.

ROY SAM: And they get those and they dry some of those. But when the ducks comes back in the springtime, maybe one or two times, they would eat. And then maybe one or two times they would eat duck eggs.

They know that the -- I mean, that’s what ducks come back for. To have little ones.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Right. And you can’t take them all.

ROY SAM: So -- so they don’t eat them every day. I mean they know that, so they just eat -- eat maybe one or two time, and then no more.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: And they said we don’t know how to manage our own wildlife. So now they want manage us.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Did the -- was the hunting -- did that happen in the fall?

ROY SAM: For ducks?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Well, for the moose and the caribou?

ROY SAM: They get their ducks in the fall, too.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. And would you preserve the ducks for later or mostly eat them?

ROY SAM: They dry it, too.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: They dry the ducks, too?

ROY SAM: Yeah. Same way they do with muskrat. They dry that, too. And then --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: They have to get those to preserve. Those meat by drying. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: They will need them during the fall and winter. They have to do that --

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And they make dried meat?

AVIS SAM: -- to be able to eat something in --

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And dry meat from caribou and moose, too?

ROY SAM: Hm mm. AVIS SAM: Yeah.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And were there any plants that -- that your parents would collect or that you would collect when you were younger?

AVIS SAM: Berries. All kinds of berries. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: So after fish, you said what did they do, that’s what they do. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Okay.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: After fish.

ROY SAM: Berries. BARBARA CELLARIUS: After fish comes berries. So we heard about blueberries --

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Mm-hm. Cranberries.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: I’ve seen some raspberries. Did they used to be here?

ROY SAM: Not in Northway. On highway.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh. There other kinds of berries you collected?

ROY SAM: Blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: Not then. I never -- I never see anybody collect raspberries.

ROY SAM: I think they eat the raspberry right away. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

AVIS SAM: They can’t keep ‘em.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. Yeah, they -- they're harder to keep.

ROY SAM: But they -- they mold faster than --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. The other ones. ROY SAM: -- blueberries.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And up towards the mountains is there yellow berries at all? We used to call them nakał in Gwich’in. Like a yellow berry?

ROY SAM: Yellow berries, salmonberries. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Salmonberries? (Nakał is the Gwichin word for salmonberries. In Upper Tanana language they are called dankaał.)

ROY SAM: Yeah. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah. ROY SAM: There’s some up in the hills. They just eat those.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: They’re so good.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Any other kind of plants or roots that people here collected?

ROY SAM: Roots. What they call that roots?

AVIS SAM: What?

ROY SAM: Those Tsuu.

AVIS SAM: Roots.

ROY SAM: I mean, is there a name for them?

AVIS SAM: They call it Tsuu. Roots that we dig out from the ground? BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. AVIS SAM: Yeah.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Is it the plant with the pink flowers?

ROY SAM: I think so, yeah. And then the fat they get from moose in the fall -- in the fall time? When there they cut their roots and then preserve it in fat.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did anybody used to make pemmican? You know, the grease -- moose grease with berries? Did you make that at all?

ROY SAM: No. LESLIE McCARTNEY: No

ROY SAM: Maybe Eskimo.

AVIS SAM: There’s berries, there's berries it's called Kinnikinnik. They’re dry. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh huh.

AVIS SAM: And they would save those in moose grease. And they don’t -- they don’t take it out until about -- about the middle of winter.

It’s really good except I don’t -- I never did learn the reason why, but they just give you a little cube.

When they take it out and give it to you kids. That’s -- that’s what I remember about that. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Now is that made with the bone marrow of the -- of the moose for the grease? AVIS SAM: No.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Just -- just the actual fat?

AVIS SAM: Yeah. Kidney -- kidney fat. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: Sometimes they use that bone marrow.

AVIS SAM: But they use that with meat! ROY SAM: Dry meat. AVIS SAM: They mix it with dry meat.

ROY SAM: They just break up that dry meat into small pieces. And then some bone marrow in there, and then they mix it up.

AVIS SAM: They don’t eat that every day either. Those were -- I think those were for hard time.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: You don’t eat full meal every day. They teach you how not to eat too much either.

BARBARA CELLARIUS and LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: Barely alive.

ROY SAM: Everybody, I mean, they’re just -- they teach all the kids not to --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Eat all the time?

ROY SAM: Not to eat all the time. Just --

AVIS SAM: Right now they sit in front of TV and get fat. That’s terrible. They don’t know what they’re doing to their kids.

And then when they do that, they -- they get obese and they disobey.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: I wanted to ask about the birch bark. Do you make birchbark baskets?

AVIS SAM: Yeah. That one, I was going to make those round one with it. I just got -- I just don’t have the time.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Summer -- summer’s sometimes hard to find time.

AVIS SAM: You got so much to do. I got too much to do. I gotta take care of moose skin.

Right now I’m not doing all that much because the fish they give us, we freeze it. We not fishing right now, so I don’t dry it either.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And your parents taught you how to do all that, Avis?

AVIS SAM: I’d say I learned on my own by watching.

ROY SAM: I think that’s what they --

AVIS SAM: I don’t think my mother and them would. I don’t think anybody tell their children to do this and to do that. You gotta be right there, watch stuff, do what -- you know --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So you’re supposed to --

AVIS SAM: But they let you help by cutting the fish heads off and hang fish to dry and take -- take off --

ROY SAM: Scales.

AVIS SAM: -- fish eggs and stuff. And dry it on that stick. All that stuff. And they don’t tell you that you got to do this and you got to do that.

Then later on you learn what you have to do. You gotta do it ‘cause that’s the only way you get to eat wintertime. Nobody else going to feed you.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So was it the same for hunting for you to learn that, too, Roy? You do it just by watching and doing?

ROY SAM: Everything, yeah. AVIS SAM: People have to. People have to do for their family. But if they do have extra, they share. Like we do with our fish.

ROY SAM: I mean, later I went to work for FAA. I learned everything by looking, and I can do anything.

AVIS SAM: No.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So what -- AVIS SAM: That’s why -- that’s why he don’t trap.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh. AVIS SAM: Why he quit. Too hard work.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So what kind of job did you have with FAA?

ROY SAM: Maintenance. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Maintenance?

ROY SAM: I was -- when it -- when I started, I think I had -- I counted twenty-eight furnaces and boilers I was taking care of.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: In the winter that must be a lot of work.

AVIS SAM: You had a job in -- you did that in the Army, too.

ROY SAM: I was in the Army in ’53 and ’55, too.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: What did you do in the Army, Roy?

ROY SAM: I was workin’ Army.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did you have to go away from home, or you were still here?

ROY SAM: I went to Anchorage for training and then rest of it was in Fairbanks. It was Ladd Field then. Right now, it’s Fort Wainwright.

AVIS SAM: Are you from Fairbanks?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: I live in Fairbanks now, but I’m from Canada.

AVIS SAM: Canada? Where?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Ontario. And I used to live up in the Northwest Territories, up in Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik and Aklavik. Fort McPherson.

AVIS SAM: We were workin’ with the Braches from -- where?

ROY SAM: Regina. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Regina? AVIS SAM: Oh, Regina.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And who was it you were working with? AVIS SAM: Language. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Language from Regina. Oh. You don’t work with John Ritter out of Yukon Language Center?

AVIS SAM: I did. ROY SAM: She used to. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did you?

AVIS SAM: I had -- I went to the university at Whitehorse. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yep. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

AVIS SAM: And then I came back and worked where -- John was my teacher.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Was he?

AVIS SAM: Yeah. And then I work with Jame --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Jim Kari? LESLIE McCARTNEY: Jim Kari? Hm mm. AVIS SAM: Yeah. He’s a workaholic.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Was he doing place names with you? He wanted place names. With you both. Yeah.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah. He comes down to Copper. AVIS SAM: I haven’t seen him for a long time.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: He’s retired. I see him quite often. He’s in and out of where I work quite often. Yeah. So when you were growing up, you both spoke your language at home?

AVIS SAM: That’s my first language. LESLIE McCARTNEY: First language. AVIS SAM: Yes.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And you, too, Roy? ROY SAM: First -- first language. Yeah.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: When did you start speaking English?

AVIS SAM: When I left. When I left the village.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So how old were you? AVIS SAM: Fifteen. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Fifteen.

ROY SAM: I thought you were twelve when you left.

AVIS SAM: I don’t remember. I think at fifteen. Maybe I was twelve.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Somewhere around there. AVIS SAM: Yeah.

ROY SAM: You were nineteen when you came back, so --

AVIS SAM: It didn’t matter. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Right.

AVIS SAM: That -- it’s a hard life. Hard life.

ROY SAM: You mean our life? It was good life.

AVIS SAM: I mean when I was growing up it was a hard life. ROY SAM: It was good life, though.

AVIS SAM: For you, maybe. I’m a girl. My sister and I used to cut wood. Strong woman.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Haul water?

AVIS SAM: Wood. My -- my sister is strong woman.

ROY SAM: What -- what she’s saying is -- AVIS SAM: She acts like a man.

ROY SAM: I mean, when they're -- when they go trapline with her dad. They -- they cut wood. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And pack water?

ROY SAM: They make water.

AVIS SAM: Pack water. We use -- if we’re up in the hills, we use snow. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Melt the snow, yeah.

AVIS SAM: And every day you gotta mix water for the next morning. Breakfast.

And you don’t go to sleep without water. Or you’ll be working in the morning for it. And they don’t seem -- they don’t make it look like it’s hard.

It was something you had to do. And right now you do that, you know what they’ll tell you? I’m going to call the cop on you. You’re abusing me. You know that?

And cop will stand by them. I tell them if they ever do that to me, I gonna tell them take my place for weeks. See how you make out. I would tell them that.

ROY SAM: Anything else?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Should we look at the maps a little bit?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did you want to look at the maps at all, Roy? ROY SAM: If you want to.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Okay. We can. You have several here, so you tell me --

AVIS SAM: I got it.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Do you want me to keep -- AVIS SAM: I want it. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Oh, you want it, sorry. There you go.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: That's a clever place to have a thermos of hot coffee. AVIS SAM: I like coffee.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: How about I come down there, Roy.

We have several maps here so you just tell me if we're in the right one or not. (Rolling out maps interrupting conversation)

AVIS SAM: You were telling me about my son, he made a moose. I make mukluks with them. LESLIE McCARTNEY: On this one, Wrangell’s here.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Did you make your slippers? AVIS SAM: Yeah. BARBARA CELLARIUS: They're very pretty. AVIS SAM: Thank you.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: That's the top of the park --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: I have a pair of mukluks from Chistochina. ROY SAM: Which way is north?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: That way's north.

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: Oh really! You live out there? LESLIE McCARTNEY: That way is north, that way, this is the the top of Wrangell-St. Elias. BARBARA CELLARIUS: I live in Copper. AVIS SAM: You live in Copper.

(Talking simultaneously) LESLIE McCARTNEY: So maybe you want to be further up than this, do you? BARBARA CELLARIUS: But I -- AVIS SAM: You go fishing at Chitna? ROY SAM: (Inaudible)

(Talking simultaneously) BARBARA CELLARIUS: I usually fish in Copper Center or Tazlina. AVIS SAM: Oh, I see.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: I need to use this, my eyes aren’t so good.

(Talking simultaneously) BARBARA CELLARIUS: But I have friends in Chistochina.

ROY SAM: Oh, that’s Copper Lake.

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: We thought we were going to go fishing down there, but couldn't make it. He got sick. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Okay, so you want to go further up that way? That’s Twin Lakes.

ROY SAM: This is all Copper.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Okay, so you need further up? Further north?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: I would say the Nabesna map. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Alright.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: I think the Nabesna map is what you need. Nabesna and maybe Tanacross.

ROY SAM: Eagle (inaudible)

AVIS SAM: We should get a map like that because we are -- we are allowed to hunt in that area.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: You're allowed to hunt? Yes.

AVIS SAM: Yes. We're allowed to hunt because of our -- my father and grandfather and them used to hunt that way. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm mm. AVIS SAM: So, we got a permit. I mean, in up on original paper.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Right. And you don't actually need the permit anymore. AVIS SAM: No?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Because originally there were certain people who specifically got the permits, but then many people had the permits --

(Talking simultaneously) BARBARA CELLARIUS: -- and we added Northway to the list. LESLIE McCARTNEY: I was going to give you an orange marker, but there’s already orange there so I’ll give you a purple one.

(Talking simultaneously) BARBARA CELLARIUS: So everyone, now everyone in Northway can hunt in the park. ROY SAM: Purple.

(Talking simultaneously) LESLIE McCARTNEY: Just if you see places where you used to -- where your family used to go, where you used go. Want to use that? I need that. AVIS SAM: That park starts at Nabesna? BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yes.

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: And is the moose open right now up -- BARBARA CELLARIUS: Twentieth -- August 20. AVIS SAM: August 20.

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: That would be Unit 12? ROY SAM: This one is Pickerel Lake. I’ve never been there. BARBARA CELLARIUS: It's unit 11 and unit 12. LESLIE McCARTNEY: You’ve never been there?

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: Nabesna area is unit 12. ROY SAM: That’s Louis’ country.

(Talking simultaneously) LESLIE McCARTNEY: Is it? Okay. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Nabesna is 12, but you can hunt at the beginning of the road, too.

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: Beginning of the road is 12? BARBARA CELLARIUS: Beginning of road is 11, end of the road is 12. ROY SAM: And then there’s that Jatahmund Lake. Ch’atxąą’ Männ’. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm mm.

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: We are in the unit 12? LESLIE McCARTNEY: In your language. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah.

(Talking simultaneously) AVIS SAM: And caribou is open now? LESLIE McCARTNEY: And what does that mean?

(Talking simultaneously) ROY SAM: Ah-ha. White man say Jatahmund Lake and the Indian would say Ch’atxąą’ Männ’. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Caribou, we don't have any in the park.

(Talking simultaneously) LESLIE McCARTNEY: And what does (trying to pronounce Athabascan word Ch’atxąą’Männ’) mean? BARBARA CELLARIUS: Well, there's very few in the park and they're hard to get to.

ROY SAM: Killer Lake.

(Talking simultaneously) LESLIE McCARTNEY: And is there stories that go with that? Is that why it's called Killer Lake? AVIS SAM: You'd better listen.

(Talking simultaneously) BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah, I should listen to this, but we can talk about hunting when we're done.

ROY SAM: 1920. My dad and mom -- my dad kill moose over here.

And then he went back to camp to pick up my mom, so they can pull those two bull moose up.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: That’s a lot of moose.

ROY SAM: And then when they got back down there where the moose -- where he shot the moose, it just -- blood churning -- just blood -- no -- there was nothing.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: The wolves come in?

ROY SAM: No. It’s in the water.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh, it was in the water.

ROY SAM: It’s in that lake. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm.

ROY SAM: I mean, just -- I wouldn’t -- I mean, this -- Indian call it Ch’atxąą’ Männ’. And that’s nothing lives in there, I guess, when -- for years.

And right now they say you can wade across and then -- I know, Fish and Wildlife, they measured how deep it was. They said the deepest was ninety foot deep.

What would live that long, prehistoric, in that lake like that?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So they think there’s something down in that lake?

ROY SAM: That’s what they thought. Yeah, that’s why they call it Ch’atxąą’ Männ’. Killer Lake. I mean, there’s no beaver, no muskrat, no nothing in there.

Or -- I mean, when -- when my dad and mom when they kill moose, it was in that lake. And two big bull moose with big, big horns it said there’s lots of bubbles and just blood was -- I mean, just churning in right in that area.

And then there's no moose. No sign of moose. Nothing. Piranhas? Alligator? It’s not there anymore. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hm mm. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah.

ROY SAM: Whatever it was, it died, I guess. But how long can he survive in this cold weather? It’s gotta be piranhas.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Hard to know.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So your dad used to come down into this area then to hunt, did he, Roy?

ROY SAM: All over. Yeah. LESLIE McCARTNEY: All over.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So, here’s -- here’s Northway.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And we have the purple marker.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Here's Northway here where the like -- where the airplane is, that’s the airport. And then Charlieskin Village is over here.

ROY SAM: That Chaałąy. BARBARA CELLARIUS: And then this is the Black Hills.

ROY SAM: Right. I still have canoe in that lake, here.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: In here? ROY SAM: Yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: That lake’s called --

ROY SAM: T’üüh Männ’ (Athabascan pronunciation of the English Tahamun). And then -- where is that sharp hill? Right --

LESLIE McCARTNEY: That’s Fish Lakes. Deep Lake. There’s a hill there.

ROY SAM: I think it’s right there.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Well, and this right here looks like it’s a hill that’s by itself mostly, so it might have looked like a sharp hill.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Do you need this, Roy?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: When there’s a lot of lines, it means there’s, like, a hill.

ROY SAM: Can’t make out what they say on that hill.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: This one says -- I’ll spell it for you: It’s K-L-U-N-A-T-H-K-A-D-A hill.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Well, and then this one just says Nabesna.

ROY SAM: I think what they were trying to say that one there is that -- it's -- That lake right there below that hill? They call it Łįǫ Männ’.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh, so maybe the name of the hill is, like, similar to the name of the lake?

ROY SAM: Yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And what does the name of the lake mean?

ROY SAM: Łįǫ Männ’ is -- you know those -- Willow Lake. They come about that high -- that high? They’re not willow, but they’re -- they’re -- (literally means buckbrush lake, which is dwarf birch)

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Like poplar or -- ?

ROY SAM: -- black. They’re black. Not black, but I mean they’re dark. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Dark. Okay.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: So, that’s the name of them then, is it?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: It’s a kind -- the kind -- the kind of shrub. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right.

ROY SAM: They just go that -- that high. It don’t grow any -- it don’t grow big.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Right.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: You know all this country then, too, Roy?

ROY SAM: Yeah. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah.

ROY SAM: And then what’s this one here?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Tishonda Creek?

ROY SAM: That’s Louie’s country.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah. Yeah, I wanted to talk to Louie. We’ll just have to find a time -- another day. LESLIE McCARTNEY: And you said Pickerel Lake is Louie’s -- Louie's country, too?

ROY SAM: Black Hill is right here it starts, huh?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: This is Black Hills.

ROY SAM: There's -- what’s this one here?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: That one there is called Fern Lake.

ROY SAM: That’s Louie’s country, too. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Is it?

ROY SAM: What -- what kind of river is this one here?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: This one? It says that one is Chestina River.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Cheslina. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Cheslina, sorry. River.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: And then this is Nabesna. Nabesna River.

ROY SAM: That one, Cheslina River, is not Cheslina. That’s one -- the Indians, they -- they call it Ttheethäl Tthee Niign. You know there was a rock that went through a volcano.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh, right. The shiny glass --

ROY SAM: Extreme, extreme heat. It go through and then --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: It looks like glass?

ROY SAM: -- lots of holes in there?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Oh, pumice? LESLIE McCARTNEY: Pumice. ROY SAM: Yeah.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: And there’s lots of that rock down in there, is there?

ROY SAM: Yeah. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Oh!

ROY SAM: It would -- someday water would be that deep and then nothing. I mean it would just disappear in the rocks.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: In rocks.

ROY SAM: It’s all Louie’s country. But this is up -- this is where we used to trap.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Down in here.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Over by the Nabesna River?

ROY SAM: I mean we come from down here. We got house down there, and then we go up over this hill and then go up this valley.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Down in there.

ROY SAM: Yeah. We never go over the hill --

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Just around it?

ROY SAM: Just, just the top of it and then we -- that’s -- we -- we used to trap marten and fox and lynx.

What’s this one here?

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Pickerel Lake.

ROY SAM: I never been there.

And then there’s Lake Creek somewhere in here.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Right here. This is Lake Creek. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right there.

ROY SAM: I hunted moose in there.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: But you’ve not been down that way? You’ve been down to Lake Creek? BARBARA CELLARIUS: Or was your dad?

ROY SAM: Up to Lake Creek, I mean. That’s just me, though. And then I tell Walter, Walter Northway, I kill moose up in there.

He look at me and say, I guess I’ll hunt up there, too. I guess, they all over there.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yep. And when they'd go, they’d go with maybe their brother-in-law or their brother, or a few families would all -- a few men would go?

ROY SAM: Quite a few of them, yeah. Where that Jatahmund Lake right here? From here, my dad say they -- after they get their moose at Swan Lake right here? LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yes.

ROY SAM: They say that one there got -- there’s creek come out from there? And they catch a fish -- it’s long fish, but it’s round like that.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Sounds like -- LESLIE McCARTNEY: Eels BARBARA CELLARIUS: -- or pike. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Pike, maybe? ROY SAM: Not pike.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: It wasn’t pike, but another long, skinny fish?

ROY SAM: Yeah. It’s -- and then they -- they got name for it. They call it xałtįį’. They call it fish.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Let’s see if I can figure out what the name is.

ROY SAM: Xałtįį’ is a sled handle.

AVIS SAM: It’s a long, long fish, Roy. Long and skinny.

ROY SAM: Long and skinny fish.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: I’ll have to ask the biologist. (the fish is a round whitefish; Prosopium cylindraceum)

ROY SAM: In that Swan. That was in that Swan Lake. And that’s where I trap beaver up here during the fall -- Swan Lake.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: In Swan Lake?

ROY SAM: Yeah. Or in that area.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: In that area. There’s lots of tiny little lakes there. Yep.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: So you’ve seen a lot of the country around Northway.

ROY SAM: Yeah, I did. I did.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Were there a lot of beavers then, Roy? Are there more now? Or less?

ROY SAM: I think fifteen is our limit, and I always catch my limit.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Do you? So there’s enough there for that.

ROY SAM: There’s three of us go there.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Anything else then, Roy, you can think to tell us?

BARBARA CELLARIUS: This has been really interesting. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Excellent.

ROY SAM: But we hunt, I mean, all the way up the Nabesna River. All the way up -- all the way up to Lake Creek.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: All the way to Lake Creek, wow! Beautiful country.

ROY SAM: For years I never hunt up that way.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: When was the last time you hunted up that way? Do you remember? ROY SAM: No.

BARBARA CELLARIUS: Well, thank you very much.

LESLIE McCARTNEY: Thank you, Roy. Thank you, Avis.