II. NATIVE PEOPLE AROUND CHURCHILL

Do Inuit people do any bone or tooth carving today, or is that a thing of the past?  Yes, bone, stone, and teeth (ivory) is carved.  If a non-Canadian resident purchases the ivory, they should check with the Customs Authority of their country to if such material is allowed. Try these links to learn more about Inuit & Canadian Art:   Inuit & Canadian Art 1  or   Inuit & Canadian Art 2  or  Inuit & Canadian Art 3 Inuit Art 4

I am reading a book called Far North  ,and in it there is mention of the Nahanni Indians.  Are there many there in Churchill?  These Native People are located in far north west Canada.  Churchill is north central.  There is another group of Native Peoples here in Churchill besides the Inuit, they are the Dene.  These links might help you with learning more about the Nahanni, Inuit, and the Dene:       Nahanni 1 ,   Nahanni 2Nahanni 3 , Dene Indians1 , Dene Indians 2The Inuit 1The Inuit 2

I read a book about Eskimo women chewing the leather shoes to remove the ice and soften the leather.  Is this true?  First off, the proper term is Inuit--which means "the people";  (Eskimo is considered improper, meaning "raw meat eaters").  The chewing as far as the officers in Parks Canada reported was "no".  But, some of the older Inuit women have flattened teeth from when they had done this years ago.

What is "muktuk"? Is it a food?  If so, what other things are eaten by the Inuit?   It is the skin of a whale which is a (legal) food item of the Inuit.  It may be fried, raw, dipped in soy sauce. Here is a site on muktuk, and then on meats and hunting, and also a curious site with many links (so try it out) about a year of this kind of life:   Muktuk ,   On the LandA Year in the North

Do the Inuit there in Churchill "cull" the seal population out of Hudson Bay?  From what I understand, no seals are culled in this immediate area, that's left to the polar bears.  If you search the Internet you will find many sites that are set up to oppose the Native population in sealing or whaling.  Here are a couple of sites that actually explain what and why this is important and the history behind it.  These sites also have links to other sites as well:   Seal Hunting 1Seal & Whale Hunting 1Seal & Whale Hunting 2Seal & Whale Hunting 3

Did you find many people (especially the native/aboriginal population) trading furs with visitors or other people?   Actually, I did not witness this.   However, at the store called "The Arctic Trading Company" in Churchill, there were many animal furs including a caribou and a polar bear that were for sale.   These animals were most likely killed and skinned by the native population and then brought or sold to this store for a price.  The store then marks up the price to sell to tourists (or others) for a higher price  or  the store will send the skin(s) on to a processing factory that might make a coat, slippers, decoration out of it and sell it in a more populated area for even a higher price.  If I were to purchase the polar bear skin (as shown in the Assorted Photos section of this website) according to United States regulations, I would not be able to bring it back into the country as polar bears are considered "threatened species" by many ecologists.  The original Hudson Bay store and Hudson Bay Company were actually set up to sell and/or trade furs with Europeans and the First Nation (native) population.  Here are a wide variety of links that might provide some more assorted bits of information in regards to this topic:   Trading Shop in Churchill 1,  Trading Shop in Churchill 2  ,   What is allowed back into the USA from the Arctic (limited listing here),   Homepage of the Arctic Trading Company,   Arctic Fur Company,   Not Hunting Polar Bears,   Current Arctic Hunting LawsPeople of the Fur Trade (Canada)Newspaper Article (opinion) 1

Do Inuit eat polar bears or is it a part of their religion?  Actually, the Inuit treasure the Spirit Bear.  Normally, they would not eat it.  To find out about more interesting things about Native religions try this:   Native Religions 1 or  Inuit Way of Life and Religion .

Does anyone there live in igloos?  No.  That was created by the Thule people, they were previous to the Inuit.  In many cases that form of life was handed down.  But, it is not continued here.  In many cases the Inuit may have constructed quamaq houses (sod).  Today, they are in houses just like us.   Here are a couple if igloo links:   Igloo 1Igloo 2
 
Can you recommend what or who I could contact to learn more about Canada and also about the Indians of the North?  Contacting a tourist office or visitor centre or Chambre of Commerce in the area or town of Canada that you might be interested in is one way.  Also, try these links:    Top Canadian Sites (People) ,   Indian & Northern Affairs of Canada , Churchill is considered to be the gateway to the North as well, check out this link:   Churchill and other places as gateways to the North

Need to ask a question concerning Polar Bears or this project? Just click on this: Questions will attempt to be answered by Mark Weaver based upon his experiences in and around Churchill, Manitoba.  (If you are in a school or library computer lab, please check with the person in charge to see if you can post e-mail from that computer terminal).    If this "send e-mail" is not operating, please use   mweaver@ccs.k12.in.us