I don’t really know how to write a journal. It seems strange to me that one would write down their thoughts like Papa writes down the numbers of furs he sells. I think it’s much easier to just tell them, like Nikâwiy* tells me stories. My favorite story is the tale of Ayas, a great hero who defeats many monsters and can change his form. I think this Ayas is a great man but Papa says he is just a story and anyways it is not lady-like to listen to such stories. Instead he gives me books on paper with ladies in very large dresses on the front. But they aren’t as interesting. My writing is not very good because Papa is often very busy, and he is the only one who knows how to write well. He has promised to give me another lesson tomorrow because I will turn ten years of age. Nikâwiy said he would be back yesterday but I guess the beavers have not been out.

I found some papers that Papa left behind and from what I could understand it seems that the Compaigne du Nord-Ouest is going to join the Compaigne de la Baie d’Hudson which is not very good, at least for my jobs at the trading post, because they will have more workers than they need. Already a couple of women that I see on the trail often have been told that they cannot work anymore. Hopefully Papa will be able to put in a good word for me. Although, it may not be such a bad thing if I do not keep this job. Perhaps then I will be allowed to travel south and see the great cities of Haut-Canada. Papa has relatives there that I could probably stay with, but when I suggested this to him he said that they would probably not take kindly to my person. I wonder if it is because of Nikâwiy. Maybe his family does not approve of her, or the color she gave my skin. I would enjoy seeing them though- Nikâwiy tells me family is very important. Speaking of family, I have heard a word from people I see on the trail- Métis. It means one with mixed blood, Papa tells me. I asked him if I was Métis because of him and Nikâwiy but he did not answer. I think I will ask him again tomorrow. Now I must go and prepare for his return- I am almost finished making him a new pair of mitts out off some fur from a rabbit I caught.

-Sophie l’Hirondelle,

 


*Nikâwiy = Cree term for “my mother”