TETSO, John




Author Tags: Aboriginal Authors

A Slavey trapper, John Tetso lived in Fort Simpson in the former Northwest Territories where he wrote a column for the Fort Simpson Catholic Voice. He bought his first .22 rifle from a white trapper in 1942. His book Trapping Is My Life (Peter Martin Associates, 1970; 1976; Stoddart, 1994) is a collection of articles compiled after his death in 1964 due to pneumonia at his Willow River camp located 110 miles north of Fort Simpson. There are chapters on the Spring Beaver Hunt, Moose Hunting on the Mountains, Rabbit Hunting and Repairing a Broken Rifle. "Well to some of the readers," he wrote, "these things that I do seem rather cruel; I know that too, but I don't have a warehouse full of grub with me all the time, and I got to get it from the bush." Tetso trapped primarily where the Liard River meets the Mackenzie and also in the Nahanni region. He regretted the incursions of civilization into the wilderness. The library in Fort Simpson is called the John Tetso Memorial Library.

According to a Dene website, "In 1990, the Deline Band Council launched a campaign to establish parks at Saoyúé (Grizzly Bear Mountain) and Edacho (Scented Grass Hills). These two prominent landmarks on Sahtú are both the subject of many legends. A year later, Parks Canada sponsored a field trip to Saoyúé and Deerpass Bay in order to collect stories of the land and water. Four hours of stories were recorded and transcribed in English by the late John Tetso. In 1998, the Saoyúé and Edacho were designated as a single National Historic Site."

BOOKS:

Trapping Is My Life (Peter Martin Associates, 1970; 1976; Stoddart, 1994)

[BCBW 2004]