Last week, I wrote the News lambasting government workers sent out to destroy any “illegal” cabins in the Yukon.
I had an old friend in Dawson City, the late Bob Russell, and together we built a few cabins in the wilderness. These were not residences - just a place to sleep and keep warm for a day or two.
Bob was born at Fortymile, never spent a day in school, but was a master bushman. One time, we were looking for gold near Fortymile and stayed the night in a cabin he had built about a mile from the old ghost town.
Around midnight, a grizzly bear started pushing in the door. We had no way out except over that bear. I lit a candle and Bob let go with a blast from his 30:06 – right through the door. All went quiet and I had to listen to Bob’s snoring for the rest of the night. The bullet had caught the griz in the mouth and went into his brain.
Our ears rang for days afterward.
Someday I want to take one of my grandsons in there to show him the bullet hole in the door. Will I find that the old cabin has been burned down? At some whim of a government official, something decided at a policy meeting?
If they have done that, then I will truly know how First Nation people felt when government workers came to take away their children.
It made no sense to them, and all this cabin-burning makes no sense to me.