Coming in 2017
Winter and summer, in every free moment, I searched for knowledge about Temagami at the archives or in interviews. The extensive work of friends such as Craig Macdonald, Chief Gary Potts, and Jim Morrison enabled me to advance further with place names, travel routes, and historical research. But the most precious wisdom about the Temagami wilderness came from the elders. Bill Twain, Michael Paul, Madeline Katt Theriault, Jane Albany Katt, Shimmy Misabi, Tillie Misabi, Walter Becker, Lizzie Whitebear Page, George Peshabo, Leo Paul, Phil Potts, and others revealed a heritage more complex and informative than anyone ever expected.
My book in progress, Secrets of the Temagami Wilderness, will contain everything that I collected and learned. This challenging book combines native oral history, archival research, place name knowledge, pictographs, information from unearthed artifacts, legends and mythology, aboriginal land use, and a love of the Temagami area. A few excerpts from Secrets of the Temagami Wilderness can be opened below. The Temagami Gallery Page of this website contains photographs of some of the Temagami elders and historic photographs of the Temagami area.
“As Bear Island elder George Peshabo once reported, ‘There is a lake with a nice sand beach back in the bush where you can’t sleep. Something keeps up a racket all night, so nobody camped there.’ The ‘something’, which he would not name directly, refers to the May-May-Gwayshik or ‘Little Wild Men.’”
“The true Temagami wilderness story could be told best through the richness of aboriginal oral history... Written source materials provided historical contexts for these individuals, but the cumulative recollections carried by a passing generation of tribal elders restored personal history into names extracted from brittle documents.”