Goose Break Spring Hunt
The Goose Break spring hunt is held each year beginning at the end of April and the first two weeks of May. For those few weeks families and friends take a break away from their Cree community of Mistissini to live at the bush camp to hunt Canada Goose.
The annual break is an opportunity to bring families together, from grandparents to grandchildren, and to share the Cree traditions without influence from the outside world.
It is not just an important event for the adults. Kids as young as 6 or 7 participate. It is here where they begin to learn how to hunt and how to live on the land. While the men hunt for geese along the marshlands, the women keep care of the camp and prepare the birds that the hunters bring back. In the Cree tradition the bounty is prepared and shared collectively, respectful of the Cree ways.
“Nutritional foods such as goose, fish and beaver are very important for the Cree people and geese are especially important to us,” say’s hunter and trapper Kenny Loon. And as important as the food is, it is also the preserving of the Cree language that the annual hunt provides.
“The Cree language and culture are important to preserve,” Kenny says. “Hunt camps like Goose Break are the chance to use our language. This is where we talk to the children in Cree which we often don’t back home.”
Connecting the children to their land and their native language is key to protecting the future of the Cree culture.