Sunday, March 16, 2008


It is really surprising how much Christianity (especially the born-again variety) plays a role in this society. There are several churches on Moose Factory Island and in Moosonee. Next weekend is Easter and I'm wondering what it's going to be like here. I wonder if the lasting effect of christianity has something to do with the lack of traditional pursuits here.

When I came here, I naively thought there would be a lot more traditional activities happening like drumming, dancing, crafts, hunting, etc. This probably has a lot to do with my preconceived ideas of aboriginal society. There is some hunting, but a lot of it is done with a different attitude than traditionally ( not hunting for food but hunting for pleasure leads to a lot of people killing more than they need and leaving carcasses in the dump or the bush). The only people doing crafts are the elders, who are in their 70s and 80s and won't be around forever. There is at least one person I know of who does traditional sweat lodges in the community.

Last night a bunch of medical people were at someone's house and this topic came up. Apparently they have noticed the same things about the community. Next on my 'to do' list is to find an elder who will sell me some traditional goods like moccasins and mittens. I hope I can find them to have some keepsakes of my time here.

1 comment:

Dr. J. said...

likYou would like the arctic......people here are closer to a time where traditional life was the norm, and traditional hunting and many other activities are very much alive. (consider that recruitment for future locums)
That being said the missionaries here have left a mark here too, though not to the same extent.....the fact that Kasheshewan and Fort Albany are divided along Protestant-Catholic lines not otherwise seen outside of Ireland is mind-boggling....