Phyllis Boshey on setting nets
These oral history interviews, conducted by Marvin Lamppa, Gerald Pete, and Tracey Dagen, were commissioned by the Bois Forte Heritage Center. Those interviewed discuss various aspects of the history of and life on the Bois Forte Reservation in northeastern Minnesota. Additional copies of the transcripts are housed at the Bois Forte Heritage Center, Tower, MN, and the Iron Range Research Center, Chisholm, MN.
And then the fishing...I remember resenting fishing. Used to go set our net in Nett Lake. We'd do two of them, and we set net to eat. To eat the fish. So everybody would be playing up at the ball field, we lived close to the ball field, and Grandma would say, "Well, let's fix those nets, and get a couple of nets out tonight." And we'd always set them before the sun went down. And you had to tie a rock and then a float on one side. So anyway, I learned to do that real, real quick. And uh, I used to...Grandpa all the time and then pretty soon he would...he said as long as I knew how to fix the net I should, I should start learning how to set it. So that's what I, him and I did and I'd sometimes resent going out there when I could be playing ball. And he said, "Well," he said "You know, this is going to help you. You know when you get married you're gonna know how to...You won't starve. You'll always be able to catch fish. You'll always be able to eat fresh fish." I'd tell him "Well, when I get married, I'm not going to set no nets. I'm gonna buy my fish from the store." And then Uncle Ben and I were out setting nets that one time and I was telling him that. I said "I always kind of feel guilty about setting net" I said, "Cause when I said to my Grandpa," I said "I told him that...I'd buy my own fish."
Phyllis Strong Boshey, Oral History Interviews of the Vermilion Lake Bois Forte Oral History Project. Minnesota Historical Society, 1996-1997, written transcript 13.