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Out There

Out There

Letters from the September/October issue of Up Here.
By Up Here
Sep 17

Muskrat Love
Your article, “Life, Death, and Trapping,” (June, 2019) is outstanding, as are Crystal Schick’s photos. Thank you both. I really enjoyed your style of writing capturing the children’s expressions and character. I am the proud grandma of Eden Dulac, and therefore mother of Marcel. It happens to be Eden’s 14th birthday today. Have you heard of another of her claims to fame? Marcel and another Canadian Ranger father coach our local Haines Junction team of Junior Canadian Rangers. Eden is national champion for the second year in a row with five gold medals from the national competition this past May in Quebec. The rest of the team swept up all the other medals (except silver and bronze for top team, because, of course, they got gold). I hope you agree we grandmas are allowed to boast!
Libby Dulac

I love the concept of the “layered knowledge process.” I saw it in action everywhere during my two years living and teaching in Ulukhaktok. One of the many ironies of being a professional teacher parachuted into a remote Inuvialuit community was that I realized fairly quickly that there was always teach- ing and learning going on in the community across the generations. In that kind of context, the white “southern” settler culture idea that only someone who goes to university and gets professional training can be considered a genuine “teacher” becomes patently absurd. Virtually everyone I met in the community had valuable knowledge and skills about a wide range of topics I knew little or nothing about, and many were happy to share some of their teachings with me if I showed the proper degree of respect and humility. I’ll always treasure the lessons, skills, knowledge, and wisdom I gained through being open to what the wonderful people, the fascinating culture, and the astonishingly beautiful land had to teach me.
Mark LeBourdais

Bug Bites
Don’t know too much about mosquitos in the eastern Arctic and Yellowknife (“Mosquito Country,” June, 2019), but I have some stories to tell about mosquitos from the Deh Gáh Got’îê perspective. I have been fortunate to have travelled a bit these past 40 to 50 years. I have attempted to try other peoples’ traditional foods, i.e. muktuk, herring, et cetera. I always tell people, we in Providence have the best-tasting fish. Would you know why? Many say, the water and so on. But I tell them, no, we have the best-tasting fish because we have the most bugs! That is a fact I have known all of my life growing up here in Fort Providence and the area. Even heard stories about how near Mills Lake/Horn River area, in early June, there were so many mosquitos that people who made a fire couldn’t have a sip of tea without gulping mouthfuls of mosquitoes. Mahsi.
Joachim Bonnetrouge

Eye Witness
In the April/May 2019 issue, the article on the falling of the Sacred Tree at the Yellowknife River (“When A Sacred Tree Falls, Everyone Hears About It”) erroneously stated that “no one was around to hear the tree come down.” Mike Vautour and his friend were indeed at the site when the tree came down and it almost crashed into our Jeep. CBC North interviewed him about the experience.
Louise Hornagold

Birthday Correction
I enjoyed the article about the WBEC and Jimmy Manning (“Past And Future,” Up Here Business: Summer, 2019), however, in the article Beth Brown says that Jimmy is 76. This is incorrect as he was born in 1951. Thank you.
Kyra Fisher

Camp Memories
Ah, the memories your camp cook letters evoked (“Out There Letters,” June 2019). I was a camp cook for two seasons during 1993 and 1994 in diamond exploration camps on the Barrenlands. I’ve travelled the world. Only the North offers true adventure. Landing in a Twin Otter on the tundra and being greeted by a wolf pack. Sitting on a rock and being surrounded by grazing muskoxen. Sleeping, double-bagged, on a cot, beneath the northern lights. Communicating only by SBX radio. Being alone in camp when a caribou herd migrates through. A raven landing on my arm every morning for a pancake. Working 16 hours a day, seven days a week and loving it. “There’s a land—oh, it beckons and beckons, and I want to go back—and I will.”
Nancy Dumas

We love it when readers send in their stories or photos about the North or share their thoughts about a recent issue. We welcome readers’ comments, but reserve the right to edit letters. Write to us at letters@uphere.ca or write: Editor, Up Here, Suite 102, 4510 50th Ave., Yellowknife, NT X1A 1B9