Kahnawà:ke’s Economic Development Commission

Kahnawà:ke’s Economic Development Commission


Business Spotlight: Eric “Dirt” McComber making a positive contribution by passing on culture and crucial land-based knowledge to our Youth
May 7, 2024

Eric “Dirt” McComber was born and raised here in Kahnawake, he has been an ironworker for 20 years and decided it was time to hang up his tool belt and pursue something that he’s always known and loved; fishing which crossed over into hunting and trading. He has traded with other first nations and became the well-known “McComber’s Fish N’ Game” for the last 25+ years. “I consider myself as a self-sufficient man, it is seasonal, but I make it work throughout the year. I do not have to have to wake up every day and work a 9-5, I can come and go as I please and it works for me. It does not work for everybody, but it does for me. It is the freedom that allows me to network all over North America and I am very well known.” Explained McComber. As the saying goes, “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life,” and that is what Eric does, he took on what he knew from his dad growing up, catching, cutting, selling fish, moose, deer, duck, caribou, geese. “It’s not the greatest or the most glamourous, it’s rough and hard but I make it work and it’s best for me.” Said McComber.

Eris has always been someone that is very outspoken and knowledgeable in everything that he does. He always tries to help as many people as he can. So, when his son’s friend introduced an opportunity to apply for a project that does exactly that, “The Tahatikonhsontóntie’ Experienceship” Eric could not pass it up. “Helping a young man that wants to learn more about our culture and crucial land-based knowledge, I knew would be a fantastic way for me to do that. I wanted to help make difference in some way and make a positive contribution. I am a hard teacher, but everybody has an opportunity learn.” Said McComber.”

The Tahatikonhsontóntie’ Experienceship is an award from Quebec Network Environment for Indigenous Health which is the first time anyone has been offered this kind of award. “As Eric “Dirt” McComber’s previous Business Services Officer at Tewatohnhi’saktha, I am pleased to announce that this $20,000 award signifies a profound investment in the holistic well-being of Indigenous communities, extending beyond mere financial support. Through this project, “Eric” is passing on crucial land-based knowledge to his apprentice, thereby fostering an environment of cultural continuity and promoting the core values of Indigenous resilience and identity. It is immensely gratifying to see such meaningful outcomes from our sometimes-wide-reaching business support services, and I am elated that this specific initiative has been recognized and rewarded.” Said Marissa Leblanc, Tewatohnhi’saktha Director of Operations (Former Business Services Officer)

Eric explains “His long-term goal would be to acquire his own piece of commercial land to open a store one day to sell his wild game, as well as the possibility of a small restaurant for everyone to enjoy. As well, he would like to continue to expand his networking starting with more Pow Wow’s all over the continent. “

By Annie Marquis, Communications Generalist