The scenic hamlet of Michel Village on the western shores of Peter
Pond Lake is home to about eighty people who experience the
northern landscape and observe nature with the ebb a flow of the
seasons. Michel is an "End of Road" community where the vocations
of trapping, fishing, and hunting are not just a cultural pastime
but also a way of life. Most residents of Michel are Dene, and speak
English as a second language.
The personal experiences of the people have taught them
that these "Living off of the Land" skills enrich their lives, and
allow them to participate in nature in a most connected way. These
simple yet demanding occupations demonstrate their capability to
support and take care themselves in a truly traditional way in Michel
to Elders the skills of living off of the land are a doorway
to an experience of nature than can only be known by not merely
viewing the landscape passively. Whether fishing, trapping or hunting
or even gathering fruit from the woods or following the wandering
track of a moose, or the flight of an eagle over the landscape,
there is an awareness of a connection to the land expressed by the
residents of Michel village. Though just a few kilometres from neighbouring
villages and just eighty kilometres from the larger center of Buffalo
Narrows Michel has preserved its sense of belonging to the land,
thus staying in harmony with nature.
Its residents encourage all to appreciate what the land
and lakes give back to man.