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  Mr Gabriel Lariviere   Listen to an audio introduction Listen to an introduction to Mr Gabriel Lariviere by Joseph Naytowhow
  >>Mr. Gabriel Lariviere

>>English River First Nation
Love & Support
Love and Support - Dene title

1. "No part of this story about a man cared for by a bear is untrue. It really happened. In this story a man had gotten lost. He must have searched and searched for his way back home, but no matter how hard he tried he always saw the same misleading land marks. He was definitely lost. So after finding a bear's den this man decided to rest for the night.

Dene story text

2. The bear who the den belonged to eventually returned from foraging. According to the way this story is told, bears and humans could talk and understand each another; although it was on a higher level than plain speech. So this bear took pity on the lost man and cared for him. The bear told him that he would need to live off the bear in the future and then proceeded to teach him all about bear nature. The bear also reasssured the man that he would never go hungry. This was the bear's gift to the man.

Dene story text

3. When winter set in both the bear and man went into hibernation. While inside the den, the bear continued to teach the man. When the man got thirsty, the bear instructed the man to lean forward and from between the bear's legs drink in fresh, cool water where a river flowed. From this same river the man received enough minerals to keep his body strong and healthy throughout the long, cold winter.

Dene story text

4. When it reached midnight of the winter sleep the bear turned over to its other side. The man did the same. In the spring which to the bear's world is really the next morning after a long, long night's sleep the bear awoke and said to the man, "I'm getting tired of your relatives worrying about you. It's time for you to go home now." The man agreed. He also sensed his family was missing him terribly.

Dene story text

5. The bear told the man to extend his hand outside den to check if any snow remained. Amazingly it had all melted. It was spring. The bear guided the man back to his village. Arriving at the edge of the village the bear departed.

Dene story text

6. The following winter this same man went hunting -- for bear. He was not successful on the first hunt. On the second hunt the memories of what the bear had taught him returned and this time he watched for signs of warm breath escaping hidden dens along hillsides; its contact with the cold winter air formed a misty cloud. From that day on, every time he went hunting he was successful.

Dene story text

7. The other hunters from the village quickly recognized this man's ability to hunt bears. They became jealous and told him that it was not the Creator's will for him to have such luck all to himself. Although the man tried to explain the gift of hunting bears was only meant for him, the hunters kept harassing him. Finally he gave in. The man knew he had betrayed the bear who had cared for him, and all for a moment of weakness. This feeling of betrayal saddened him deeply. He vowed never to tell another person after that."

Dene story text
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Biography ~ Mr. Gabriel Lariviere

Gabriel was born on November 14, 1927 at Dipper Lake, SK. He was brought into this world by the traditional birthing method known as mid-wifery. He later moved with his parents to Pinehouse Lake where they settled; trapping, hunting and fishing for a living. Several years ago he relocated to Patuanak, SK and has lived there ever since.

Gabriel recently celebrated 50 years of marriage with his wife Mary and continues to be a loyal, committed and loving husband. Both Roman Catholics, they were married on December 29, 1947. In all, Gabriel and Mary have brought eleven children into this world (four of the children have since passed away).

Gabriel is no stranger to hard work. He once travelled to Churchill, Manitoba to load grain onto a ship. For 13 years he had a contract collecting and hauling garbage for the village of Patuanak, SK. Today the contract has been taken over by one of his sons.

Other jobs Gabriel has had include: being a fisherman, hunter, trapper, fishing and hunting guide. He is also an excellent teller of stories. He speaks Dene, Cree and English fluently. From time to time he has also been called upon to sit at MLTC meetings and workshops as one of the Dene Elders.

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English River First Nation

Dene Name:
English Translation:




Assistant Superintendent of Education, Producer

"rough current runs through it"

English River First Nation
General Delivery
Patuanak, Saskatchewan
S0M 2H0
Phone : (306)396-2066
Fax : (306)396-2155

Ralph Paul

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