Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Native Reserves

A few interesting encouters this summer were with Canada's First Nations. One of the first was travelling to Simcoe (not the lake) Ontario to visit my Grandmother and stopping on the fringe of a Reserve to purchase cigars (I have been known to indulge). I very pleasant surprise was that there was a promotional event, where I recieved free a box of small cigars. In a country where tobacco products can no longer even be displayed in stores this was highly unusual. The cigarillos themselves where produced by the Natives. We also bought bison meat (not native to southern Ontario) from an enterprising farmer nearby. Buffalo burgers taste great!
The summer home is on Lake Simcoe and across from Georgina Island, and although I spent many many summers there, I never visited the Island, which is a Native Reserve. So one day we all climbed into the GMC Yukon (great super-car-truck) and headed over via ferry. I enjoyed the drive around the island, which seems to be a lovely peacful community.
A highlight of the summer for me was the trip to Rama Reserve Casino in Orillia Ontario. Originally the plan was to play a few tables and go to the Tom Jones concert. However things did not go as planned... Tom had a sore throat and after three and a half songs cancelled the concert to much disappointment. He is performing in Budapest in November. The game room was packed and though I love a good game of cards I felt very very much out of my league, we did lose ten dollars on the slots. Nonetheless it was fun to see the place, a sort of "Indian" Las Vegas, I hope to return at some quiet time and imagine myself James Bond as I play roullette.

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