A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 107: Albert and Julia

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Albert, from the Ojibwa tribe on the Whitefish reserve, who left me stranded in the wilderness, became our next door neighbor. We lived in a log cabin; he and his wife and two boys in a shiplap and tar paper cabin.

Albert did not want to live on the reserve. He said, "I want to become white man." A Treaty Indian who lived on the reserve got money from the government, but Albert was not interested. Doc gave him a cabin because he was the number one guide. About a year later, Albert told me very proudly, "I am a white man now." "Congratulations, now you can go to the beer parlor and start drinking." "Huh, no, no." Alcoholic beverages were taboo for Indians. It seemed they went crazy if they drank only a few.

They were pretty good neighbors. After the wolf hunting season was over, I never saw Albert any more until spring. When I saw him again in the spring, I asked, "Where have you been all winter? Were you sick or something?" "Huh, no, I fired the stove, not good, burn on front, and freeze on back."

Julia and the two boys did what had to be done: they went in the bush to cut firewood and dragged it home, then sawed it in wood stove size. They went down to the lake to chop a hole in the ice, then got drinking water, and did the shopping.

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Related resources:

Pamphlet # 28: Myths and Facts About First Nations Peoples from University of Manitoba, September 2008. "Myth: Indians get all kinds of government money. Fact: Treaty People get a $5 Treaty once per year, in cash. This is the same amount they got under the Treaties, over one hundred years ago. There has been no adjustment for inflation."

The 'drunken Indian' stereotype and social healing from CBC News, Posted: Oct 22, 2008.

The stereotype of the drunken Indian by ‚pihtawikosis‚n, 2012. "... itís time to finally address a foundational stereotype of the drunken Indian, hopped up on the White Manís firewater. (Actually, in Cree itís iskotÍw‚poy, which is more like 'fiery liquid'.)"

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