Lessons from the Land
This is the story of deceased Elder and long-time Fishing Lake resident David Calliou, as recollected by his son Richard Currie and retold by one of the younger family members Julia Crevier. The story starts with the relocation of the Calliou family to the Fishing Lake area in the 1930s with a large herd of cattle and horses from the nearby St. Paul area. Julia relies on Richard’s memories to tell us how each family member had an important role in contributing to the survival of the family whether it was through building a home or barns, harvesting slough hay, or growing a “healthy garden.”
As a newlywed and young father, David Calliou, answered the call to defend our country in World War II. He was shot in the leg during his military service and was sent home as a decorated soldier, but still he continued to serve – this time, as a political representative for his community. Throughout the story, we hear oral recollections from David’s eldest son, Richard, who recalls some of the traditional ways and life lessons that his father bestowed on him as a young man. Survival is interpreted within this story from the vantage point of traditional Métis knowledge and lifestyles where lessons were delivered via lived experiences, communal sharing, collective responsibility and tough life lessons.