Nayquonabe on eel pouts
The Mille Lacs Ojibwe Social Oral History Project documented various aspects of the history of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians in Minnesota. Interviews were done by Dr. Anthony Godfrey.
What we did was, we'd walk out to the fish houses and pick up the eel pout. You know, the guys--the fishermen didn't want them. Sometimes we didn't even ask. We'd just take them 'cause--maybe again we--I think I was looking at it like, "If they throw them out, they don't want them." And later, as I got older, when I did some ice fishing, that's where they were. You know, we'd throw them out there and leave them there, assuming everybody would leave them alone. But sometimes we--maybe I just thought it was common knowledge that nobody wanted the eel pout. We just went out there and got them. Nobody ever stopped us and said, "Whoa, hey, hey, leave them alone." We'd bring them back and my mother and aunts and grandmother would cook them up, good meal out of them.
Joseph Nayquonabe, Oral History Interviews of the Mille Lacs Social History Project, Minnesota Historical Society, 1992, written transcript 11.