Modern Tribes of the Canadian Wilderness

Another company is in Manitouwage filling jerries at the gas station. They're the same-same, but different like a tribe from across a nearby river that is too dangerous for frequent crossing. The old man attendant feeds Jude biscuits while we pump hundreds of liters of diesel across a gas pump station divide wider than the Amazon.

Our tribe wars and differs and dissolves. Rome falls. We strike out in different directions for new land, new villages. Another tribe takes me in after a period of wandering. The night is full of animals I do not know, I have travelled so far.

Like a researcher of uncontacted people I try to minimize disruption. I change my clothes and learn the language. Tribes will turn hostile when an intruder is detected- the traditions and ways of life must be protected. The songs and dances and oral history are different.

At night I lie awake and mouth the words to the songs I know while jubilant warrior parties dance around the fire reciting stories that will become their legends. In my bones I know my own and I can learn no others.