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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Don’t forget the hard lessons

BY Sonny Orr Aug 30, 2021

It’s been nearly two years since I ventured out by vehicle and I’m expecting a post-apocalyptic scene. The tourism industry was hit hard as hotels and restaurants reopen and ready themselves for the new passport that will enable people to roam freely. The lack of workers is evident, but not the effort of those who are there working for us in the hotel industry. I get to skip the dishes literally.

Life goes on albeit with a lot of differences. The past 18 months have made for unsteady decisions and risky financial maneuvering in a daredevil market. Luckily, I don’t tightrope walk with my feet planted on the ground. The best time to rally may be in a moment such as the present, and the common effort unites the people in a shared goal – to keep that nasty virus at bay.

But this summer’s nice heat generates the need to stay outdoors, I’ve acquired a tan and it’s evident as I brush back my hair. The rest of the earthlings in my immediate vicinity aren’t complaining as nice weather is what it is – nice. 

This summer was also celebrated by many people of all callings and commonalities, as a “Welcome Back to the Real World”, a return to what we thought was normal. It seems to be a more cautious world now, with rebels who revel in rousing up anyone who doesn’t care about anything other than themselves. But the world needs rebels to question and keep us on our toes, so not to be caught off guard again. This lesson we learned the hard way and hopefully we learn from this awful experience. 

Amazingly this problem made some slick moves as it spread around the world using our high-speed transport systems. I hope we learn how to deal with stuff like this very quickly instead of using shock reactionary moves to contain an outbreak. Real life, not science fiction, is doling out hard lessons so heed the doctors and scientists and get vaccinated.

Aside from that, summer is nice to us, with a few thunder-and-lightning shows to make it entertaining. Festivities and fairs are opening before school starts up and according to many people who lined up for a few hours and several kilometres to get on a ride that lasted only minutes is a testimony to people’s determination to have a good time. Yes, but again learn from experience and bring your own lawn chair to sit out the longest line-up ever.

The summer might have been a bit on the dry side as the usual berries are coming out later and the annual fishing in the Rupert River is affected too – less water, fewer fish. The nice part of summer does have its dark sides, as you can’t always get too much of a good thing without upsetting the fine balance of what’s good and what’s bad. Then again it may be getting easier to predict the weather, but it sure doesn’t help with the weather either. Unless of course, you are a cloud seeder.

Cloud seeding sounds like a great job, dropping silver iodides into the cloud to induce the birth of droplet of water which turns into rain. This is helpful in areas with crops or forests, but we haven’t tried anything like that here. Maybe we should try it once just for the heck of it.

Aside from that, I’m becoming reaccustomed to life on the road and hopefully we will cross paths somewhere.

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.