Xavier Kataquapit

Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Create: 07/18/2020 - 01:25

You would think that this Corona-virus pandemic had gone away judging by the way people are acting here in northern Ontario. I have been doing curbside pick up mostly at grocery and hardware stores now for some time. It surprises me to see people heading into stores with no mask or gloves and seeming to not pay too much attention to the two metre social distance rule.

Finding Hope In The Time Of COVID-19

Create: 06/27/2020 - 02:07

We are still reeling from the shock of dealing with a pandemic. Most of us can’t leave the house, many people are not able to go to work or school and life has almost come to a halt world wide. The power of a virus that we can not see has been devastating and in a way we are learning a hard lesson. All of us in every city, town across the world have had time to think about life in general and what is most meaningful to us.

Learning In A Dangerous Time

Create: 06/27/2020 - 02:06

An entire new generation of graduates from universities, colleges, secondary schools and elementary schools are moving ahead with their lives all across Canada. This time of the year is very special for First Nations and in particular remote communities. Organized education is a relatively new thing for my people considering that less than a century ago most of my ancestors were only involved in learning about surviving on the land.

Banging Out The Words

Create: 06/27/2020 - 02:05

I have just come in from doing some repair carpentry to my front porch. It needed it but I have been busy for months and just did not have the time. When I am not sitting at my desk in my office working on writing or video projects I escape to the world of wood, saws, hammers and cutting tools searching for creative solutions to making things fit in an old house.

A Time To Give Thanks

Create: 04/29/2020 - 00:42

A few months ago if anyone told me I would have to be staying at home, stopping all travel, dealing with most stores and services shutting down right across the entire world and being terrified of catching a virus and dying, I would have thought they were nuts. This is the extraordinary reality that everyone on the planet now faces. It is like we all went to sleep and had a bad dream that we can’t wake from.

At War With A Virus

Create: 03/24/2020 - 02:45

We are in a world wide war with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We are now at a critical stage in Canada and here in Ontario. If we take this threat seriously and listen to the experts who are telling us to stay at home, cancel events, close schools, work from home if possible, practice safe hygiene and quarantine ourselves if we get sick, we just might come out of this somewhat intact in a few months. If not we might be facing many more months of dealing with this deadly virus.

An Elder Who Walked In Two Worlds

Create: 03/24/2020 - 02:44

Recently, my great uncle Peter Kataquapit passed at an old age home in Timmins. My family, myself and many people up the James Bay coast and in northern Ontario remember Peter as a rock that we could turn to when we needed someone in the outside world to lend a hand or in introducing us to the non Native reality. He was a friend to so many Native and non-Native people in northern Ontario.

Is A Pandemic On The Horizon?

Create: 03/03/2020 - 06:20

I have had a few very bad flu bouts over the past few years and come to think of it almost once a year for the past 10 years. Some of these respiratory issues were probably colds but most of them were flus due to viruses.

Often when I am sick, doctors prescribe an antibiotic because they believe I have also developed some bacterial infection. Some of my friends experience strep throat and pneumonia often these days and I have been stricken with these complications a couple of times.

The Power Of Language

Create: 03/03/2020 - 06:19

I am very lucky to be able to speak Ininimoon, my traditional Cree language. The word starts with the word Ininew, which is the word for ‘people’ and the last part ‘moon’ refers to the action of speaking words or phrases. To me, Ininimoon literally translates as ‘the people’s language’. This is a very big deal for me as I have found over the years in wandering around Canada that not many Indigenous people like me in this country can speak their mother tongue.

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