Little Pine Christmas Dinner

My whole family trooped down to the Ramada the other day for our reservations Christmas Dinner. Someone really under estimated the number of Little Pine band members living in Saskatoon, because they had only five stressed out staff attending to the needs of over 200 people, all of whom are related to me in various ways. They kept having to bring more tables out, if you walked by the kitchen you could hear white people screaming in hysteria. So much for the vanishing race theory.

The elders were served first, so a bunch of folks in my generation lined up to make up plates for their grandparents. I was assigned to Gramma. I had no idea what she wanted, so I just took a bit of everything. I started to realize this was a really bad idea when her plate became a mound of various side dishes and room for the turkey, potatoes, and cranberry sauce turned into a small section the size of a playing card. Poor Gramma, I think it intimidated her but she spent a whole hour eating every single bite. Never under estimate a New Brunswick Scots woman.

One of the platters they were using tuned out the be a square mirror they just took off the wall.

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That was kind of the case here. We did get a nice dinner, but we also had to listen to an hour of announcements about the progress of our Treaty Land Entitlement, the development of an urban Little Pine reserve here in Saskatoon, our financial situation with regards to our oil, gas, cattle, and casino investments. Someone stood up and told a very long story about the Little Pine baseball team and the one time in history we won a game. The highlight was when they told us we were getting a $75 Christmas bonus this year. There was practically a standing ovation.

Someone was stationed in the corner giving out treaty cards, but there was a run on them and then they ran out of Polaroid film.

People kept coming by shaking our hands and talking to my Grampa in Cree. It was always “This is so and so, his father is Grampa’s cousin,” or things like that. Everyone had some convoluted way of being related. My uncle’s on the band council so people kept talking to him about band politics or complaining to him about various things and telling him to change it.

I got to sit with my Auntie Pauline, which was nice, we told jokes. She’s Christopher’s mom, so it was nice to see her be able to just relax and laugh for a while. Everyone in the family is feeling pretty protective of her, Uncle Doug, and our cousins. People always think my dad is my Uncle Doug, I guess because they don’t often come across people who take on their mother’s last name.

My Dad is from Gordons reservation. I have never been there, but I hear they have a bigfoot in the area.

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