By Xavier Kataquapit
Recently I have been dealing with sickness and the passing of family members and that certainly is a sad situation and does take its toll.
However, I am so happy to be able to welcome Hunter James John Francois Chum, a brand new baby boy, into this world. Hunter was born on Nov. 1 with the healthy weight of nine pounds. It is good to know that with the passing of loved ones hope springs eternal.
I am so happy for my niece Marissa, her husband Tony and their two daughters Toni and Kailyn as they are joined by little Hunter. This little boy will be loved and spoiled by his grandparents Janie and Brian Wesley and Karen Chum and Francois Mongrain, as well as Erik Gunner.
He deserves to be loved so much and of course spoiled as he will be walking the life trail of some very strong, traditional ancestors. His names come from the fact that his dad recently came back from a moose hunting trip with a successful harvest. On his return when the baby was born Tony and Marissa decided his name would be Hunter.
Hunter will also have the opportunity to grow up with all of his traditions and language if he chooses to, as his mom and dad and grandparents know so much about our Native culture, history and language. He is one lucky boy.
Right now Hunter and the family are sharing a home in Moose Factory with great grandfather Peter Chum who is happily showering this new baby with love and affection. That connection to the Elders is so important for our children. Tony and Marissa decided to live with their grandfather as Peter’s wife Leona had passed on several years before.
Marissa has always been a very creative and industrious person and her husband Tony has a similar personality and that makes them great parents. Hunter will learn to hunt, fish, live on the land and gather with an extended family of relatives and children. Those will be huge and fun gatherings.
My sister Janie, who is the grandmother to little Hunter, will be able to show him how to do all sorts of traditional crafts and art. As well she will keep him stuffed with traditional foods like goose, moose, caribou and fish as she is an excellent cook.
Mom, Marissa is also an excellent chef who has studied food preparation and worked in that industry. Grandfather Brian will make sure Hunter has all the good introductions to technology and perhaps his interest in aviation. Tony’s family also has a strong connection to traditional activities and living on the land and I am sure they will show Hunter these skills as he grows up.
The world is totally open to little Hunter and his path is full of good news with all the best options for a good life. His choices will take him on his way and he will have many family members to help him pick the good trail and stay on it.
Saying goodbye to family and friends as they pass is such a difficult thing for everyone, but thanks to the way life works we get to move on with new life and wonderful fresh family friends like Hunter. Many thanks to all who supported Marissa and Tony on their journey with this new life and we know we can all count on family and friends to be there as time clicks on.
My mom Susan and dad Marius would have been so proud and happy to be able to welcome Hunter into the living world. In a way there will be a little bit of them in our new little Hunter to carry on their traditions and teachings. Hunter will be joined by so many wonderful little cousins who have been born in the past few years and I am sure they will be playing together and developing great friendships for the years to come.
Recently, I was spreading a friends ashes on the ground in a family ceremony near a huge maple tree and on a wonderful forest path in Oshweken. Today I am sprinkling words of welcome, joy and hope on a page devoted to new beginnings. Life is good and there is a balance and a yin and yang to it that we can all find hope in.
We all have a great future if we take care of those new babies and help them grow into strong, wise, sensitive, open and courageous leaders and moms and dads.
Welcome home Hunter.
Kee-sah-kee-eh-tee-nan Noo-see-sim ... We love you, grandchild.