As an Elder, I learned from my past Elders; as a Gwitchin, I live along with the season.

Porcupine Caribou is our main source of food.

We fry caribou meat in the morning. We eat caribou steaks, along with fried eggs and hot bannock, and then we begin our day.

For lunch we add caribou meat to healthy vegetable soup mix.

Supper is roasted caribou meat with other nutritious produce.

When the men go out hunting, they eat pemmican, hot bannock, and hot tea for lunch.

And, of course, we blend other food into our diet.

My husband and I went to Crow Flat for a caribou in March. We were successful, and after leaving Crow Flat we moved up the Porcupine River to Blue Bluff. I did my beading while Joseph cut firewood.

Then the river ice moved. Joseph got three young bull caribou. I dried the meat so we could enjoy it with family and friends during the bi-annual Gwitchin gathering.

Spring was wonderful.

All our plans fell into place, and we decided to move back to Old Crow, tired from all the work, but tired in a good way.

On my last night before returning home I listened to nothing but geese, swans, the howling of wolves, and spring birds.

I thanked the Good Lord for a wonderful, successful spring.

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Photo: Jason Westover

Caption: Caribou meat drying in Elizabeth Kaye’s home.