Sometimes a small gesture can have a big impact.
That is certainly the case for Mitch Mitchell, an apprentice butcher from Bellingham, Massachusetts, who is one of the participants on The History Channel’s new survivor-type show ‘Alone’ that was filmed in Quatsino Sound.
At the premiere held in Quatsino June 18, Elder Stan Wamiss received two hand-crafted gifts and a Youtube message from Mitchell.
Before the survivors left on their adventure, there was a welcoming ceremony in Quatsino.
“We spoke at the gathering. I thank you for befriending me, I really appreciate it. Thank you for the gift that you gave me that day. This whole experience has been a gift,” Mitchell said, in the video.
Wamiss explained in an interview that Mitchell had asked if there was a store because he wanted to buy a souvenir of Quatsino.
“I went to the house and brought a t-shirt that I had never used that I designed for the
Quatsino (K’ak’ot’lats’i) School of a Thunderbird,” said Wamiss.
Mitchell offered to pay, but Wamiss told him it was a gift.
The t-shirt is “so much better than going to the store and buying something,” said Mitchell in the video.
“As I was living with your people’s land, it had a profound effect on me in many ways. My compass has turned and Quatsino Sound gave that to me. It gave me a lot,” he said.
“I had incredible experiences. I had interactions with wildlife.”
As he was alone in the woods, Mitchell had lots of time to think, and he thought often about Wamiss’ gift. “So I decided to do something about that while I was out there,” he said.
A knife and an ax were the only cutting tools Mitchell had in his pack, (each participant was allowed to bring only 10 items), so he used them to fashion a spoon out of a piece of wood which he used to eat while he was in the bush. This was one of the gifts presented to Wamiss.
“I wanted to make you something that I enjoy using back home,” said Mitchell, so he made a roasting plank which he fashioned with his ax. One side was smooth to be used as a cutting board, the other engraved with the words Quatsino Sound and other detail work using his knife.
“It was a real surprise,” said Wamiss of the gifts.
“I hope one day to come back with your blessing to Quatsino with my wife Dawn,” Mitchell said.
Alone is on the History Channel on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. and again at 9 p.m.