Tonight’s program featured a long reading by Kieran Moore, who was just 20 years old when he found himself living in the Northwest Territories in a Dogrib village of 150 people by the Great Slave Lake in 1970. Kieran told the tale of a three-week long caribou hunting trip. At the time the Dogrib were likely the last nomadic subsistence-hunter Native American tribes in North America.
The tale was a compelling story of survival. It took place at a time before snowmobiles, outboard-motored skiffs, and cell phones. The village was running put of food, and the men were pressed to produce meat for the village. Kieran knew next to none of the traveling and survival skills that he’d need if he were to return alive. His writing was masterful, vivid, and of the tradition that brings to the page the depths of life. It is in the same class of book reflecting a similar setting and time, but from turn of the 20th century Labrador rather than the far Northwest Territories: Great Heart, by Rugge and Davidson. I rate it as one of the top three adventure books I’ve read.
One of the features of this event that only improves each year are the door prizes. Here’s the deal- various vendors, and now many of the attendees, donate prizes that are given away during several drawings just before the large group programs. The prizes are placed on a large table in the dining room. In front of each prize are containers. Each participant gets five pieces of paper that you write your name on, which are put in the container corresponding to your choice of prize(s). You can put all five on one prize or put 1 slip toward winning 5 possible items. It’s up to you. This year, there were 52 prizes, more than ever, and with 100 participants, the chances are 1out of 2 that you’d take something home. Of course, several people won two things. I didn’t win anything in the drawing this time, but last year I won a small cast iron fry pan.
Auntie Mame scored a big this year: a bundle of four of Sigurd F. Olson’s books. Including The Singing Wilderness. I contributed one prize of three hardcover books about Canadian arctic travel, plus a flashlight.
Here’s a shot of one of the tents from this weekend. It’s warm in there!
This weekend is one I look forward to, you can see why.
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