Using the skills learned from hunting and trapping for 20 years (taught by her father), a Wollaston Lake (pop. 125) woman kept her family going for three days while they were stranded on a small island. “So, the wind blew us to the shore, and we stayed on the island for three days stranded there,” she said. Tsannie said they didn’t have a tent, but used a tarp for shelter. She also found something to cook their food in and had to keep the fire going. Her brother had been sick for two out of the three days, but when he recovered, Tsannie told her brother to help her paddle. Now back in the boat, she said they paddled for six hours. They also made a sail using the tarp and two big logs tied to the edge of the boat with a rope (to increase their visibility).
“Because it was raining, the wood got all wet, and my brother got sick on me, so I had to stay up all night chopping up wood, keep the fire going, keep my girls warm.”
Note: Please understand that there is actually NO cell phone coverage in the region. The family was using a cell radio 'beam' from SaskTel to Key Lake mine or Points North. A very narrow and isolated signal that is nearly impossible to get.
The stranding wasn't their fault either. They had enough gas but a relative mistakenly relieved them of some of their gas cans when he was dropped off.
When the four returned home, Tsannie said she got a reaction from within the community that she hadn’t expected. She said some people were crying. “It was touching.” Its good to hear the good stories about how people kept their wits to survive the elements.