I chose to do a historical life for my socials final.We had to write a “good life” or “bad life” story. I wrote three parts that happened at different periods of my character’s life. I also added some backstory and a transitional paragraph for extra long gap.
My name is Howard Bottineau I was born in Red River. My parents were Thomas Abbott, Sandra Bottineau. My father was a fur trader for the Hudson Bay Company, and one day he was staying at the red river colony. During his stay he spotted my mother Sandra Bottineau, they immediately fell in love and soon got married. I inherited my father’s name and my mother’s last name to represent my British/Metis nature. Whether it was farming, making Bannock with my mother, or fishing and hunting with my dad, I enjoyed every second. When I was growing up I very smart and quickly learned the many languages used by the Metis. My favorite two are English et le Français. (Say in French)
Today is an exciting day; my dad just bought a rifle from a couple guys from Canada. I was fascinated and baffled by the rifle. My father had gotten it to improve his hunting, because of the declining Bison population. After the purchase I talked with the men who had sold it to him. They told me about the province Quebec. They told about its many wonders and things that I had never heard about. There was a larger variety of food available then Bannock, agriculture and meat. They had sweets and many delicacies such as chocolate. They had Stone building and Cobblestone roads, which sounded much more excited than my wood house and dirt roads. They also told me about the education and variety of jobs such as a lawyer. I found that the more I heard about the wonders of this new Canada, the less I like the Metis way of life and the more I wanted to go to Canada. Once the travelers had left I couldn’t get the idea of going to Canada out of my head.
I tried to go back to my regular routine, but it wasn’t the same. Hunting had lost its charm, and seemed barbaric after hearing about the civilized Canadian way of life. Time had used to fly when I was farming, but now I count the minutes and I’m bored out of my mind. I began to ask my parents if I could be educated, so I can go to Canada when I’m older, they laughed and thought I was joking. However I persisted and with a lot of begging, they relented and arranged for me to be educated. A local priest was persuaded into teaching me all I needed to know. It was an extreme sacrifice from my parents, and made it hard for us to live. However we managed scrapped by.
Many years have passed since I heard about Canada, and quite a lot has happened. My father died in a hunting accident with a bear, which devastated me and my mother. I recuperated eventually, but my mother was never the same and quickly fell into depression. A couple months later my mother caught an illness. She didn’t have the will to fight, because of my father death so she soon passed away.
To make things worse for me Canada has “bought” Rupert’s Land from the Hudson Bay Company. Since Red river is located in Rupert’s land, this has resulted in immigrants coming in and basically stealing our land. Lots of the Metis people are outraged, and to stop it they have begun to retaliate with violence. However, a Metis man educated in Canada, named Louis Riel has conceived another option. He suggests that we willingly join Canada, but make sure out rights and land titles are respected. While it still involved violence, I think this is the best course of action.
With the death of my parents and the reaffirmation of my dream thanks to Riel, I would have left immediately for Canada. However, that wasn’t the case because of Tantoo Grant. She was the daughter of one of my neighbours, and we had grown up together. Over the past few years I had noticed our friendship blossoming into something more. So before I made plans to leave, I asked if she would go with me. She said no, because she didn’t share my aspirations of going to Canada. She instead begged me to stay, but I disagreed. I would get a painful reminder of my parents’ death every day if I stayed and I felt I was destined for more than just farming and hunting. So heartbroken, I sold my parent’s house, farm and belongings. The only thing I kept was my fathers’ rifle, from that faithful day all those years ago. After some long good byes to friends, especially Tantoo, I ventured off to Quebec, Canada.
When I arrived in Montreal (a city in Quebec) I began seeking work, so I could pay for my education. I got a job and a free place to stay working at a tavern. Once I had established myself and had gotten used to the city life, I tried to join a school. They laughed at me even after I explained my preparation. However, I didn’t give up easily and I persisted that I was at least given a chance. They vigorously tested me and I eventually made it in. During my schooling it was hard to make friends, due to my Metis background. However I have made a couple close ones.
I have since graduated from my school, near the top of my class. As a result of my academic achievement, I was offered a position as a lawyer for a company located in Montreal. It could be stressful at times, but I enjoyed myself and I was well paid. With my new income I moved out of my room in the tavern, into a house I bought. When I left, I expressed my gratitude with a substantial amount of money as a gift to the owners. During my time at Montreal I enjoyed all of the wonders I had dreamed about as a boy, especially chocolate. During my schooling I met Mary Saville, a British woman who gained my affection. However, yet again I didn’t get the fairy-tale love story of my parents. She quickly rejected me, because of my Metis heritage.
Mary’s rejection was a sort of turning point for my life in Montreal. After it I began to become more depressed and all of the things I had enjoyed doing began to lose their appeal. I felt pangs of regret for Tantoo, and spent time imagining what life could have been if I had just stayed at Red River with her. I noticed that the same thing was happening to me, as when I was living at Red River. My friends in Montreal suggested I take a break, maybe go back to Red River for a vacation.
I thought there advice as smart and took the CPR railway back home. I managed to meet up with an old friend; we had a couple drinks and caught up with each other. I told him about my struggles and he told me about his struggles in Red River. I learnt about how Louis Riel, my role during his quest to make Red River a part of Canada, had been forced to kill Thomas Scott due to his presumptuous behaviour.
While we were reminiscing, the topic of Tantoo came up. I learned where she had moved too, and a dim spark of hope lit in my chest. Maybe this time she would come back with me, or I would move back to Red River to be with her. It took some time but I made it to her farm. I was walking down the desolate dirt road, when I saw her on the front porch. I was about to wave and get her attention, when the door opened and a man emerged. They kissed and began talking animatedly. The last of my hope crushed, I put my head down and kept walking. This quickly ended my vacation. However before I left I went to my parents graves. I felt tears brimming in my eyes, because their hard work to send me to Canada might have been a waste. If I hadn’t been so insistent on my stupid dream, my father wouldn’t have had to hunt as much. Then maybe he and my mother wouldn’t have died.
As I write this on the rail way home, I feel more depressed than ever, and I don’t know what I will do next.
So dear reader I hope you have learnt from my mistakes. Make sure you appreciate what you have, and don’t take it for granted.