North

Celebrating fathers in the Northwest Territories

From tiny fish to huge kayak skirts, people from across the N.W.T, including CBC staff, share their best memories of their dads.

Northerners share their favourite dad stories for Father's Day

Gene Ouellette, with his three sons, Marquis, Seth, and Ashtin, says he inherited his father's hard work ethic. (Submitted by Gene Ouellette)

Eating tiny trout, public flatulence, and fishing toys off the bottom of a lake. It's Father's Day and people across the N.W.T, including CBC employees, have been sharing their favourite dad stories.

Here are some of the stories collected by the team behind CBC North's The Trailbreaker.

These stories have been edited for clarity and length.

The tiniest trout

Submitted by F., from Yellowknife

I will never forget the time my dad took me and my younger sister camping. We lived in Calgary at the time, and I might have been five or six years old.

In those days, Kananaskis was still wild and undeveloped. I remember staying out there one night in this big, old, grey tent, I think it rained.

We also went fishing and we came back with the tiniest little rainbow trout.

I remember standing on a chair at the kitchen sink once we got home and dad was cleaning the fish. He was showing us how to do it properly.

But my sister and I were kind of grossed out by the whole thing.

He fried them up in a fry pan. I know it was after dark, but we cooked them up right away and had a lovely little snack of these tiny rainbow trout.

Paint doesn't float

Submitted by S.

It all started out when we were on a canoe trip and I wanted to see if my paintbrush floated. So I put it in the water and it did.

And then I wanted to see if my paints floated. So I put them in the water and they sunk.

I told my dad and asked if he could go in the water to go get them.

He said, "Me?" and I said, "Please."

So he took off his clothes and jumped in the water and had to look around for my paints. 

When he finally got them, he was not happy.

Learning to speak up

Submitted by Gene Ouellette

I grew up in Saskatchewan and was blessed to have the First Nation I am registered to located only eight miles north where we would visit often, almost weekly. This was truly a blessing as my parents had divorced when I was about eight-years-old and my father had opted to take on the responsibility of being a single parent.

One thing about my father is he was deaf in one ear and half-deaf in the other. That meant we had to speak loud if we wanted him to hear us.

Growing up, nobody ever had to ask me what I said twice, as I said it loud and clear. In fact, I spoke so loud my teachers would ask me why I was yelling, which I didn't realize I was doing at the time.

Given my father's situation, we never had those father/son conversations unless he was telling me to do something, liike clean the house, yard, or garden.

However, now that I look back, I wouldn't change it, as his actions spoke volumes that words could never capture.

My father was one of the hardest workers I have met in my entire life and that behaviour has passed on to me.

'My father was a prolific farter'

Submitted by Joanne Stassen, CBC Current Affairs Producer

My dad refused to be embarrassed. And of course he taught my sister and I this lesson in the most embarrassing possibly way.

My father was a prolific farter.

He would let one rip in public and just say "excuse me" and move on as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile, my sister and I would be dying of embarrassment.

He would just look at us and say, "Girls it's natural, everybody does it. Why should anyone be embarrassed about it?"

I always thank my dad for teaching me that there's nothing in life you should waste your time on being embarrassed about, including public farting.

The kayak skirt

Submitted by Rachel Zelniker, CBC Current Affairs Associate Producer

My dad was notorious for wearing his bicycle helmet when he wasn't actually on a bike. My dad biked pretty much everywhere but he would never take his helmet off in between whatever errands he was running.

You'd see him walking around downtown and in the grocery store with his bike helmet on. And my friends would kind of joke with me about it.

As you can imagine this was all very embarrassing for a 15-year-old girl.

He kind of took that to an entirely new level that I didn't know was possible when we went on a kayaking trip and encountered some bad weather.

We had to pull into this little island and for the entire two or three hours that we were there, he refused to take his kayak skirt off.

If you're not familiar with a kayak skirt, they're these very large kind of cumbersome rubber skirts that attach to the kayaks so water doesn't get in. So he had three feet of material on his front and back, just kind of looking completely ridiculous.

I don't know if there's really a lesson I can take from that story but I guess it would be try not to care what people think of you.

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