Specifically, it appears as though Ai outlined the type or the type was outlined in the original file and is not live, editable text. You will indeed need to recreate the text if you wish to edit what it reads.
Illustrator files are, by default, not "backwards compatible". In fact, there's a warning pop up when you open a newer version file in legacy versions telling you this exactly.
Note the "Some data loss may occur." sentence.
Illustrator tries it's best to use as much of the newer data as it can. However, because newer versions have new features and possibly a new code base around existing features, the files should never be assumed to be intact if you see the "newer version warning" when opening the file in a legacy version.
To avoid this you can use the version of AI the file was created in. Or, save the AI file in a more backwards compatible format, such as PDF or EPS. You can also directly save AI files to legacy versions in the second save as dialog which appears when saving a file.