From the Archives

Canada's History - - CONTENTS - — Phil Koch

A wolf pack hunts cari­bou in the North, plus more sto­ries from the March 1952 is­sue of The Beaver.

The March 1952 is­sue of The Beaver in­cludes a va­ri­ety of sto­ries and im­ages of life in Canada’s North, among Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, and as recorded over the pre­ced­ing cen­turies. Ted Tadda’s cover photo of a north­ern trap­per is fol­lowed by Audrey Hawthorn’s fea­ture ar­ti­cle “Totem Pole Carver,” about Kwak­i­utl artist Mungo Martin.

Martin, also known as Hana­galasu, was a much-in-de­mand carver and pain­ter of “masks, house fronts, stor­age boxes, la­dles, cra­dles, totem poles, and spe­cial ef­fects for the win­ter dances” on the West Coast — un­til the pot­latch ban and so­cial change elim­i­nated the need for his ser­vices. He be­came a com­mer­cial fisher but was later hired by the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia to su­per­vise the re­pair of de­cay­ing totem poles for the par­tial re­con­struc­tion of a tra­di­tional vil­lage that opened on univer­sity grounds in 1951.

The ar­ti­cle “Bankers of Por­tu­gal” — com­piled from texts by “cel­e­brated sea-writer” Alan Vil­liers — tells of the fleet of Por­tuguese schooners that still ar­rived each spring in St. John’s har­bour to fish the banks off New­found­land, as their fore­run­ners had done for some 450 years. Pho­tos show some of the sleek ves­sels and their crews.

In the same is­sue, an ae­rial photo by A.W.F. Ban­field shows hun­dreds of cari­bou mak­ing their spring trek over still-frozen wa­ter­ways to­ward the Arc­tic tun­dra. Wolf packs fol­low the herd, and at least one wolf can be seen charg­ing to­ward a clus­ter of about forty an­i­mals “strain­ing to out­dis­tance the wolf.”

Janet Caruthers’ ar­ti­cle “Land of the Ojib­way” of­fers im­pres­sions of the Indige­nous peo­ple of the Lake of the Woods area on the Man­i­toba-On­tario bor­der. She writes of “tiny vil­lages tucked in shel­ter­ing bays and on wooded points” and notes a chief who in 1873 said, “we have a rich coun­try” that “be­longs to us.”


Top: A.W.F. Ban­field’s ae­rial photo shows hun­dreds of cari­bou on their spring trek as a wolf, lower left, charges to­wards a clus­ter of an­i­mals. Mid­dle: Carver Mungo Martin (stand­ing centre) pre­pares to speak at the open­ing of a re­con­structed Kwak­i­utl vil­lage at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia. Above: Por­tuguese bar­quen­tine the Gazela fished the banks off New­found­land.

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