Chaleur Bay - Isabelle Oke
Visiting my maternal grandmother is synonymous with spending time near water. In Charlo, a small Acadian village in New Brunswick located on Mi’kma’ki First Nations’ ancestral land, I would venture up most summers for a week or two with my family. On any given day, regardless of all weather, aside from rain, we would go out for a usual assortment of activities, like swimming at the river in the afternoon, or building a fire on the beach at night if we were on a late to start. We might pass through the meeting point of fresh and salt water on the way out of town to visit family nearby, or I might escape family mayhem to sit alone and decompress next to the bay’s waves. The bay would sit in the backdrop of my grandma’s window while ate at her dinner table, eating mackerel fished from the quay down the road. These waters are the context of my Acadian family and heritage. The appreciation I have for this network of waterways is as ingrained as the gratitude I hold for the time away it represents, and the love I have for my family.