Friday, March 26, 2010
BICYCLE TRIP (Part Two)
The destination, Lake Winnepegosis, was straight east from Swan River. This is north of Duck River which is west of Camperville.
This is simply labeled "Catholic church at Camperville," but it's really quite elegant! A stone building with an elaborate spire!
This would be part of the story, a school for Indian kids run by the Catholics, which have now become infamous because of abuses. At the time the schools seemed quite different: a door to a new world, a shelter in the midst of poverty, and salvation for the pagans. Times change.
This is from Wikipedia:
"The Pine Creek First Nation is a Saulteaux First Nation in Manitoba, Canada. The First Nation's homeland is Pine Creek 66A Reserve, located approximately 110 kilometres north of Dauphin along the southwestern shore of Lake Winnipegosis between the communities of Camperville and Duck Bay."
"As of July 2006, the First Nation had the population of 2,592 registed people, of which the on-reserve population was 1,202 people. The primary language spoken on the reserve is Saulteaux."
"The community had a two-storey steeple church erected 1906-1910, but it was destroyed in a fire in 1930. A second church with a single steeple was reconstructed using the first's stone walls—as it was salvageable—and reconstruction began. At one time, Pine Creek First Nation had a residential school on their Reserve, built 1894-1897. The large 4 story school building was destroyed in 1972."
All his life my father would plunge into the nearest body of cold water. If we were at home, the shower had to do. But this was the greatest. In the first place it probably felt good. In the second place he was a sweaty and therefore stinky man, so he needed the bath, and in the third place he was a romantic. As a teen I read his Richard Halliburton books and noted how the latter swam in the reflecting pool of the Taj Mahal by moonlight. I'm sure that to him this was only slightly less of an adventure. What he might not have known was how dear a custom this also was to Indians, Salteaux or not.
My father, in his thrashing around in the lake, has attracted these kids. In his politically incorrect and utterly innocent way, he labels them "papooses" in the album. I have no idea what they thought of him. It was September 3, 1922, and they were at the beach of Lake Winnipegosis at Camperville.