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General: Encyclopedia Arctica 13: Canada, Geography and General
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962

General

Administration of the Canadian North

EA-Canada: General
(C. Cecil Lingard)

ADMINISTRATION OF THE CANADIAN NORTH

Canada's Northland — the 1,516,758 square miles of territory lying
north of the 60th parallel of north latitude — embraces approximately 41 per
cent of the country's area and includes both the Yukon Territory and the
Northwest Territories. The Yukon Territory, compresing the extreme northwest
portion of the Canadian mainland, extends northward from the Province of British
Columbia to the Arctic Sea and eastward from Alaska to the Mackenzie District
of the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territories, which have diminish–
ed in area time and again during the past 75 years, in 1948 embraced the vast
mainland portion of Canada lying north of the 16th parallel of latitude and
extending eastward from the Yukon Territory to Hudson Bay, together with the
islands in Hudson and James bays and in the Arctic Archipelago.
Administration of the Northwest Territories to 1905
The history of Canadian administration of this northland had its beginnings
in the passage on June 22, 1869, of an Act by the Dominion Parliament for the
"temporary government of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory when
united with Canada." The British Government transferred both these territories
to Canada, by Order-in-Council dated June 23, 1870, and in 1880 transferred like–
wise all British-claimed islands in the North American Arctic. Administered until
1869 by the Hudson's Bay Company, the "North-West Territories" in that year com–
prised "Rupert's Land" — the area of the Hudson Bay watershed claimed by the

EA-Canada: General/ Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

Company under its Charter of 1670, and the "North-Western Territory" — the
western Indian country held by the Company under license of 1821 and renewed
for 21 years in 1838.
This vast empire, herein referred to as the Northwest Territories, did
not long remain intact. The formation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870 was
merely the first of a series of provincial establishments and expansions that
were ultimately to reduce the Northwest Territories to its present area. While
the Lieutenant-General of Manitoba and his North-West Council for a few years
ruled over the remainder of the Territories under the direction of the Minister
of the Interior in Ottawa, the Canadian Parliament provided for their separate
administration in 1875 through the passage of the Northwest Territories Act.
The Act of 1875 made provision for a resident Lieutenant-General and an appoint–
ed North-West Council invested with both executive and legislative powers. Al–
though the year 1888 saw the North-West Council replaced by an elected Legisla–
tive Assembly, which met annually in Regina, the then Northwest Territories —
divided for postal and administrative purposes into the provisional Districts
of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Athabaska in 1882, and of Yukon, Mack–
enzie, Franklin and Ungava in 1895 — remained intact until 1898. In that year,
largely as a result of the Klondike gold strike, the Canadian Parliament created
the Yukon District a separate Territory for administrative purposes by the pas–
sage of the Yukon Territory Act.
The Northwest Territories suffered their third loss of territory in 1905
as a result of the unprecedented flood of immigration into the Canadian prairies.
In September of that year the two provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were
created, embracing the first four above-mentioned provisional districts and ex–
tending from Manitoba on the east to British Columbia on the west. Their southern

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

and northern boundaries were fixed at the 49th and 60th parallels of north
latitude respectively.
The fourth and final loss of territory took place in 1912 when the older
provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba were extended northward. Quebec re–
ceived the District of Ungava — that is, all of Rupert's Land lying south of
Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay and east of Hudson and James bays. Ontario and Man–
itoba, on the other hand, received the remainder of Rupert's Land lying south
and west of James and Hudson bays as far north as the 60th parallel of latitude.
Thus, by the year 1912,the original area of the Northwest Territories had
been reduced to that of the present day, as defined in the opening paragraph
of this article.
Government of Yukon Territory, 1898-1945
The provisional District of Yukon, created in the Northwest Territories
in 1895, mushroomed into world prominence with the Klondike gold strike of 1896
on Bonanza Creek (a tributary of the Klondike River). While Inspector Constan–
tine and a detachment of North West Mounted Police were at this time in the re–
gion to report on the need for law and order and to represent various departments
of the federal government, the in-rush of fortune-seekers during the succeeding
two years necessitated the appointment of a customs officer and a gold commis–
sioner and the removal of the recording office from Fortymile to the fast-grow–
ing town of Dawson. Although a member of the Executive Council of the Northwest
Territories spent several months in the District enforcing local government regu–
lations respecting the importation and sale of intoxicating liquor while his col–
leagues in Regina (N.W.T.) memorialized Ottawa to leave the then Northwest Terri–
tories intact, the arrival of tens of thousands of people in the Klondike region

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during the gold rush of 1897-8 led the federal authorities to pass the Yukon
Territory Act in June 1898, transforming the Yukon District into a separate
Territory.
Intended merely as a temporary measure to [: ] rovide for the administration
of the new mining community and the maintenance of law and order, the Yukon
Territory Act followed in general the principles of the old Northwest Territories
Act of 1875. Provision was made for the appointment of a Commissioner as the
chief executive officer to administer the government of the Territory under in–
structions given him from time to time by the Governor-in-Council or the federal
Minister of the Interior. To aid the Commissioner, a Council of not more than
six persons (including the judges of the Territorial Court) was to be appointed,
possessing the same legislative powers to make ordinances for the government of
the Yukon Territory as were exercised at that time (1898) by the Lieutenant–
Governor of the Northwest Territories acting with the advice and consent of the
Legislative Assembly thereof. Moreover, while the federal Governor-in-Council
was given power to make ordinances for the peace, order, and good government of
the Territory as well as to exercise residuary jurisdiction beyond that possessed
by the Commissioner-in-Council, the latter was restricted in its authority to
impose taxes or duties, alter punishment for offence, and appropriate public money,
lands, or property without rhe authority of Parliament. Provision was also made
for the allowance of ordinances by the Governor-in-Co [: x ] uncil within two years after
their passage and for the continuance in force in the Yukon of the existing North–
west Territorial laws relating to civil and criminal matters until amended or
repealed by competent authority.
The Act of 1898 did not provide for popular representation in the Yukon
Council because of the uncertainty on the part of the federal government respect-

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ing the nationality and political experience of the inhabitants of the pioneer
community. The members of the appointed Yukon Council during the year 1898–
1900 were government employees in the Territory and included the Superintendent
of the North West Mounted Police, the Judge of the Territorial Court, the regis–
trar of lands, the legal adviser, and the gold commissioner. In 1899, however,
an amendment to the Yukon Act was passed giving male British subjects in the
Territory the right to elect two representatives to the Council for a term of
two years and requiring its sessions to be open to the public. Furthermore, the
Commissioner and his Yukon Council were empowered to make regulations respect–
ing shops, taverns, public health, and local improvements, to impose license
fees and other charges connected therewith following the seating of the two el–
ected representatives, and to bestow upon any elected municipal corporation the
authority to levy taxes upon the inhabitants for local purposes.
Even before the sections of the Act of 1899 respecting the two elected
local Council representatives went into effect under a federal order-in-council
of July 13, 1900, the inhabitants of the mining community began agitating for
parliamentary representation in the House of Commons. On March 23, 1900, a mass
meeting of citizens in the Yukon ratified a petition to the Canadian government
requesting the right to elect two members to the federal parliament so that (in
the words of the petitioners) "important and pressing questions relating to the
Yukon Territory may be properly brought before the House of Commons by members...
acquainted with the conditions" of the mining country.
Although the question of granting parliamentary representation was debated
in the House of Commons in June 1900, legislation was not enacted until 1902.
While the leaders of the Conservative opposition urged immediate provision for
Yukon representation, the Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, favored delay

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until the census of 1901 would determine the actual condition of the population
and the Territory. Moreover, the request for two members was, in the Govern–
ment's judgment, not in accord with Canada's unit of representation, which at
the time was one representative for every 22,000 electors. However, the Yukon
Territory Representation Act of 1902 constituted the Territory a federal elec–
toral district with the right to return a single member to the House of Commons.
Every male British subject (exclusive of Indians and Eskimos) of 21 years of age
with 12 months' residence in the Territory received the franchise. Mr. James H.
Ross, who resigned the office of Commissioner to contest the seat, was elected
the first Member of Parliament for the Yukon in December 1902.
In response to local agitation for increased popular representation on the
Yukon Council, the Canadian Parliament also passed an amending Yukon Act in 1902,
increasing the elected representatives to five members, thereby making the Ter–
ritorial Council of ten (exclusive of the Commissioner) half elected and half
appointed. Other provisions of the Act gave the Yukon Commissioner-in Council
the same powers to make ordinances for the government of the territory as were
at that time possessed by the Lieutenant-Governor of the Northwest Territories,
acting by and with the consent of the Legislative Assembly in Regina. In addi–
tion, the Act defined the powers of the Governor-in-Council (in Ottawa) to make
ordinances for the peace, order, and good government of the Yukon, and provided
that in case of conflict between the ordinances of the Commissioner-in-Council
and of the Government-in-Council those of the latter should prevail. While the
federal government possessed the veto power with respect to the ordinances of the
Yukon Commissioner-in-Council, it should also be noted that the ordinances of
the Governor-in-Council required approval by resolution of both Houses prior to
the close of the next ensuing session of Parliament.

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

Although the five elected representatives — Dr. Alfred Thomson, Rev.
John Pringle, and Messrs. J. A. Clark, Max Laudreville, and Robert Low —
joined the federal government officials on the Yukon Council in January 1903,
the citizens were not content and continued during the next few years their
agitation for a fully elected Council. A resolution from the residents of
Yukon, tabled in the House of Commons in 1906, reiterated this "oft-repeated
request ...for a wholly elective council" and urged its "speedy granting" as
"absolutely necessary to endure the good government and continued prosperity
of the business and mining industries" of the Territory. As the member for
Yukon stated in the House, his Territory was not asking for provincial status
but merely for a popularly elected legislative body in charge of local affairs.
Heretofore, all attempts on the part of the elective members of the Yukon Coun–
cil to memorialize Parliament respecting greater self-government were "opposed,
or their purport and imperative urgency minimized, solely by the actions and
votes of the appointed members of the Council."
Despite the eloquent pleading of the Yukon member and the support of the
Conservative Party leader, Mr. R. L. Borden, the Government held that conditions
in the Yukon in 1906 — especially the decline in population from 27,000 in
1901 to an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 — were hardly those which ordinarily jus–
tify a change. Two years later, however, an Act to amend the Yukon Act was
passed to meet the wishes of the people for a fuller measure of self-government.
Going into force on May 1, 1909, this Act of 1908 provided for a wholly
elective Council of ten members with full legislative powers within certain
defined limits. The Council was required to meet separately from the Commission–
er in short annual sessions for a three-year term, although the latter might order
a dissolution and a new election at any time. While all money bills for the

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appropriation of any part of the Territorial revenue or for the imposition
of any tax must originate in the Council, no such bill, vote, or resolution
might be adopted unless it had been first recommended to Council by message
of the Commissioner. Provision was also made for a sessional indemnity of
$600 and actual traveling expenses of each member of the Council; the audit–
ing by the Auditor-General of Canada of all receipts and expenditures of Terri–
torial funds and of appropriations of Parliament for the Territory as authorized
by the Commissioner to be expended with the advice and consent of the Yukon
Council; the appointment by the Governor-in-Council of an Administrator to ex–
ecute the functions of the Commissioner during his absence or inability; and the
like appointment of a Public Administrator as official guardian in and for the
Territory.
While the elected representatives of the people possessed legislative
powers, the Yukon lacked responsible government. The Commissioner was respons–
ible to the federal government alone in respect to his wide executive and admin–
istrative functions. In other words, the people's representatives might initate
and pass legislation on a wide variety of subjects (outlined briefly below) for
the Commissioner's approval, disapproval, or reservation for the assent of the
Governor-in-Council, but they possessed no local control over its execution.
Clearly, the success of the system depended largely upon the wisdom, good sense,
and executive ability of the resident Commissioner on whom the federal authori–
ties and especially the Department of the Interior depended for efficient and
intelligent administration of the Territory.
In 1918-19, the federal government took steps to reorganize and reduce the
administrative machinery of the Territory in the interests of economy. Justify–
ing its policy by reference to the decline in mining population, the government

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

abolished the office of Commissioner — whose duties were transferred to the
Gold Commissioner and later to the Controller — reduced the number of mining
officials, and contemplated the replacement of the existing Yukon Council by
an appointed council of two or more members. However, after conferring with
the Yukon member of Parliament and the Commissioner, the government decided
to maintain the elective feature of the Yukon Council while reducing its member–
ship. Consequently, Parliament passed another Yukon amendment Act in 1919,
which provided for an elective Council of three, the reduction of the sessional
indemnity to $400, and the extension of the local franchise to women.
The governmental machinery of the Yukon Territory as of 1947, still bore
the stamp of the policies of 1918-19. The Territorial government was composed
of the Controller of Yukon Territory and an elective Legislative Council of
three members having a three-year term of office. From its seat of local gov–
ernment at Dawson, the Controller administered the government of the Territory
under instructions given him from time to time by the Governor-in-Council or
the Minister of Mines and Resources at Ottawa.
The Controller-in-Council, subject to any Act of Parliament or any ordinance
of the Governor-in-Council applying to the Territory, had power to make ordin–
ances dealing with the imposition of local taxes, the sale of intoxicating liquor,
the preservation of game, the establishment of territorial offices, the mainten–
ance of prisons and municipal institutions, the issuing of licenses for taverns,
shops, saloons, auctioneers, etc., the incorporation of companies, the solemniza–
tion of marriage, property and civil rights, the administration of justice, and
generally all matters of a merely local nature in the Territory.
The principal fields of local administration in the hands of the Yukon Coun–
cil during the first decade [: ] r two of this frontier mining community, as illus-

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

trated by its ordinances, embraced such matters as the protection of miners,
employers' liability, pollution of streams, ferries, the construction and re–
pair of local roads and bridges, hotels and road houses, forest fire preven–
tion, licenses, succession duties, fur export, and the poll tax. Subsequent
legislation in the early 1940's had to do with the changed economic conditions
brought about by the aeroplane, the Alaska Highway and associated projects, which
called for ordinances respecting highway traffic, the imposition and collection
of taxes on income, gasoline and fuel oil, the work of scientists and explorers,
the prevention of venereal diseases, and the maintenance of the children of un–
married parents.
Apart from mining which was the special concern of federal government of–
ficials, the local Yukon Council devoted most of its attention and revenues dur–
ing these years to roads, public welfare, and education. A considerable portion
of the annual territorial expenditures went for the building of roads and bridges
connecting new mining camps with Dawson, Whitehorse, May Landing, and other
centers of the industry, while the local Council frequently memorialized the
Ottawa government for special grants in aid of the more vital trunk roads. Like–
wise, the Council dipped into its local revenues for public health and the main–
tenance of hospitals at the above-mentioned centers and passed ordinances deal–
ing with the duties of health officers and prevention of disease. While the
welfare needs of the white population were fairly adequately provided for, the
paucity of official reports respecting the health of the Indians in the outlying
parts of the Territory led one to assume that it was not unlike that described
below as prevailing in the far-flung portions of the Northwest Territories.
Under the Yukon Act the Yukon Council possessed authority to make ordinances
respecting education, including the right of a majority of the ratepayers of any

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

portion of the Territory to establish such schools as they desired and to fix
the necessary rates; and the equal right of a minority of the ratepayers in
any district or portion of the Territory to erect Protestant or Roman Catholic
separate schools, with the accompanying liability of paying only such rates as
they imposed upon themselves. The School Ordinance, administered by the Con–
troller, had since 1902 provided for a Council of Public Instruction with powers
to prescribe textbooks, courses of study, and standards of instruction, and a
Superintendent of Schools to regulate and inspect the schools and perform such
other duties as were assigned to him by the above authorities. Financed by
funds of the Territorial administration and a grant from the Indian Affairs
Branch of the federal government, the eight state-supported schools included
in 1945 high, public, and separate schools at Dawson, public and high schools
at Whitehorse, a public and an Indian residential school at Carcross, and a
public school at Mayo. Apart from the Indian residential school and the mission
schools operated by the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church at a
number of Indian settlements, educational facilities in the Yukon were thus
largely adapted to the needs of the white and half-breed children. The kind of
education available for Indian children at the hands of the churches was most
inadequate and not unlike that which prevailed in the Northwest Territories (see
below).
As might be expected in a frontier mining community lacking responsible
government and provincial institutions, the federal government retained a large
share in the administration of Yukon affairs. Prior to December 1,1936, the
Department of the Interior had charge of the general administration of the Yukon.
On that date, the Department of Mines and Resources came into being, and its
Lands, Parks and Forests Branch, with its Bureau of northwest Territories and
Yukon Affairs, has since then been responsible for business arising from the

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

general administration of the Territory under the Yukon Act and the ordinances
passed by the Territorial Council; for the disposal of lands and timber under
the Dominion Lands Act; for the administration of the Yukon Placer and Quartz
Mining Acts; and for the collection of revenue in the Territory. However, the
Department of Mines and Resources, represented at Dawson by the Controller of
Yukon Territory, was not the only federal department with interests in the North.
The Departments of Transport, National Defense, Public Works, National Revenue,
Post Office, Justice, Fisheries, and Agriculture co-operated in the appropriate
fields of government and frequently the Controller and head of the territorial
administration served also as their representative in the Yukon.
As the name of the department most concerned with the Yukon suggests, min–
ing was the most important field of federal jurisdiction in the Territory. In
the days of the Klondike gold strike the federal government regulated mining
operations by order-in-council. But, as these orders-in-council were subject
to frequent changes, thereby creating much uncertainty in the industry, it was
not unnatural for the Yukon Council to urge upon the federal government the need
for stable and permanent mining laws and the curtailment of hydraulic concessions.
With these objectives in mind a special committee of the Yukon Council in 1905
fashioned a draft bill which served as a guide when parliament kpassed the Placer
Mining Act of 1906. That this Act and the Yukon Quartz Act of 1924 met the sit–
uation so well was doubtless in large measure the result of the federal authori–
ties wisely fashioning their clauses upon the views of the Yukon Council and of
the mining interests and employees expressed in meetings throughout the Territory.
While the history of transportation and communication is outside the scope
of this article on administration, it perhaps should at least be observed that
various departments of the federal government played a significant role in the

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evolution from dog-team and cance to highway, steamboat, railroad, and aircraft
transport — of the utmost importance in the development of a frontier mining
country. From the earliest years, the Ottawa government voted annual, though
perhaps inadequate, grants to the Yukon Council for the construction and main–
tenance of mining roads in the Territory, while its yearly appropriations for
postal and telegraph services frequently exceeded $150,000 and $275,000, respec–
tively. The federal government's telegraphy system, inaugurated in 1899, con–
nected Tagish, Whitehorse, and Dawson with points in British Columbia, while
the Yukon and Northwest Territories radio system, operated by the Royal Canadian
Corps of Signals, Department of National Defence, provided communication between
Whitehorse, May9, Dawson, and Edmonton. During the early 1940's a telegraph line
was constructed along the route of the Alaska Highway (of which an account is
given below). The government provided air-mail services daily except Sunday be–
tween Vancouver and Whitehorse, and between Edmonton and Whitehorse, as well as
less frequent ordinary mail services by steamer, rail, etc., to Skagway, White–
horse, Dawson, and other centers.
From the earliest days of the gold strike, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
and the judicial system established in the Y [: ] n rendered life and property as
safe as in the older law-abiding communities in the nation. With the establish–
ment of the Yukon as a separate Territory in 1898 provision was made for the con–
tinued application of the laws and ordinances relating to civil and criminal mat–
ters in force in the old Northwest Territories until repealed or altered. The
year 1898 witnessed the establishment of a Territorial Court of three judges (re–
duced to one in 1912) barred from holding other office except that of membership
in the then appointed Yukon Council. In 1899 the British Columbia Court of Appeal
was constituted the Court of Appeal for Yukon Territory, and three years later an

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amendment permitted appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada in mining cases
amounting to $2,000 or over. The Yukon Act laid down court procedure, pro–
vided for places of confinement, and gave to the Yukon Commissioner (or Control–
ler), each member of the Council, and each commissioned officer of the R.C. M.P.
the powers of a Justice of the Peace in the Territory. Provision existed for
summary trial by a judge without the intervention of a jury in offences of
theft, wounding, indecent assault, and resisting a public officer. In case of
tr ai ia l by jury six jurors only were required. A significant safeguard against
hasty execution of the death penalty by a judge or stipendiary magistrate ex–
isted in the requirement that he forward full notes of the evidence to the Sec–
retary of State and await the pleasure of the Governor-General.
While frequent changes in the keeping of the federal government records
render it impossible to give an adequate picture of administrative revenues
and expenditures for the Yukon, it is interesting to note that in the years
immediately preceding World War II the annual revenues and expenditures of all
federal government departments in the Yukon ranged around $580,000 and $350,000,
respectively; that the local revenues of the Yukon Council amounted to about
$150,000; and that salaries and expenses of administration of the Department of
Mines and Resources for Yukon purposes dropped from a high of $320,000 in 1918
to $50,000 twenty years later. Certainly financial string ne en cy of the inter-war
years was a principal reason for the lack of more progressive and far-reaching
administrative programs in the Yukon. It was to take World War II and its crit–
ical aftermath to bring the spotlight of Canadian government attention to bear
upon its strategically located arctic and subarctic territories of which the
Yukon was the most advanced although a minor portion.

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Government of the Northwest Territories, 1905-1945
The creation of the Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta in September
1905 necessitated the passage of an act of the federal parliament providing
for the delimitation of the remaining Northwest Territories and for their ad–
ministration. This act, known as the Northwest Territories Amendment Act,
1905," defined the Northwest Territories as comprising thereafter "the terri–
tories formerly known as Rupert's Land and the Northwestern Territory, except
such portions thereof as form the Province of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Al–
berta, the District of Keewatin (created in 1876) and the Yukon Territory, to–
gether with all British territories and possessions in North America and all
islands adjacent to such territories or possessions except the colony of New–
foundland and its dependencies." The exclusion of the District of Keewatin
from the newly defined Northwest Territories, with a view to adding its con–
tiguous portions at an opportune time to Manitoba and Ontario, was however of
a very temporary nature. On July 24, 1905, the federal authorities changed
their mind and placed Keewatin (slightly enlarged by those eastern portions
of the districts of Saskatchewan and Athabaska not to be included in the Prov–
ince of Saskatchewan) within the jurisdiction of the reorganized Northwest Ter–
ritories.
Thus the Northwest Territories embraced the three administrative districts
of Mackenzie, Keewatin, and Franklin whose boundaries were delimited as now ex–
isting by an order-in-council of March 16, 1918, effective on January 1, 1920.
Mackenzie District, the portion enjoying the greatest development to date, em–
braced that part of the Canadian mainland lying between the Yukon Territory and
the 102nd meridian of longitude. Keewatin District included that paet of the
mainland, with the exception of Boothia and Melville peninsulas, lying between

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

Mackenzie District and Hudson Bay, together with all islands in Hudson and
James bays. Franklin District included Boothia and Melville peninsulas and
the islands in Hudson Strait and in the Arctic Archipelago, except those ad–
jacent to the coast of the Yukon Territory.
The Northwest Territories Amendment Act of 1905 provided for the appoint–
ment by the federal government of a chief executive officer, styled Commission–
er of the Northwest Territories, and a Council of not more than four members to
assist him with the administration. While an amendment of 1921 made provision
for a Council of six and for the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner to exer–
cise the functions of the appointment of the Commissioner during his absence,
the specific powers of the Commissioner-in-Council have remained largely as de–
fined by the Act of 1905 and the revised statute of the following year.
Although the Commissioner-in-Council received the same powers to make
ordinances as were on August 31, 1905, vested in the legislative Assembly of the
old Northwest Territories, these specifically included the following classes of
subjects as were from time to time designated by the Governor-in-Council or in
instructions from the Minister of Mines and Resources: direct taxation within
the Territories to raise revenue for territorial or local purposes, establish–
ment and tenure of territorial offices, appointment and payment of officers,
establishment and maintenance of prisons, municipal institutions, road allow–
ances and new highways, local licenses for shops, taverns, auctioneers, etc.,
incorporation of companies with territorial objectives excepting railway, steam–
boat, canal, telegraph, and irrigation companies, solemnization of marriage,
property and civil rights, administration of justice, expenditure of territorial
funds and certain moneys appropriated by Parliament for the Territories, and
generally all matters of a local or private nature in the Territories, Copies

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of all ordinances, of course, were required to be laid before Parliament, where
they were subject to disallowance at any time within two years by the Governor–
in-Council.
Despite the statutory provisions of 1905, outlined above, the Northwest
Territories were practically administered for the ensuing fifteen years by the
Royal North West Mounted Police under Lieutenant Colonel Fred White as Commission–
er.
Not until 1921, when certain oilddevelopments brought the Territories to
the attention of the federal authorities, was the first Northwest Territories
Council of four members (increased to six in June of the same year), appointed
to assist the Commissioner. At the same time a branch of the Department of
Interior was organized to carry out the active work of administration, its
Deputy Minister, Mr. W. W. Cory, having succeeded Lieutenant-Colonel White as
Commissioner of the Northwest Territories in 1920.
Although Mr. D. F. Kellner, M.P. for Edmonton East (Alberta), presented
in 1923 a petition to the House of Commons signed by a number of residents of
the Territories, requesting parliamentary representation, the nature of the pop–
ulation was hardly such as to justify such a step. Even in 1941 the population
of the Northwest Territories embraced only 2,284 whites, 4,334 Indiands, and
5,404 Eskimos, scattered over a vast area of 1,309,682 square miles. Hence,
throughout the period under review the Territories lacked representation in
Parliament and the Northwest Territories Council, comprised of federal depart–
ment officials, functioned in Ottawa both as a legislative body and in an ad–
visory capacity to the Minister of Mines and Resources on matters pertaining to
the administration of the Territories.
An examination of the Territorial ordinances passed by the Northwest Terri–
tories Council during its first decade (1921-31) reveals few significant enactments.

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Apart from an ordinance of 1926 requiring scientists and explorers to obtain
a license from the Commissioner to enter the Territories for the purposes of
practising their professions and to present the federal authorities with a
statement of their scientific discoveries resulting therefrom, and another
ordinance of 1930 protecting Eskimo ruins through the regulation of excavation
and of the collection of articles of archaeological and ethnological importance,
early legislation dealt with administration of justice, mortgages and sale of
personal property, the conduct of billiard rooms, the care and control of digs,
the export of furs, the registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Of course,
the geneaal ordiances of the old Northwest Territories (in force September 1,
1905) remained in force in the present Territories unless repealed or amended
by the Territorial Council.
A sampling of the ordinances of the following decade indicated a growing
Concern on the part of the Territorial Council for social and economic matters
in the far Northwest. A medical profession ordinance (1936) provided for the
licensing of duly qualified medical practitioners, while another guaranteed com–
petent chemists and druggists (1938). Other ordinances provided for the recovery
of small debts, the licensing of such businesses, trades, and occupations as
physicians, dentists, merchants, bankers, hotel keepers, freighters, contractors,
blacksmiths, etc., the regulation of the sale of liquor with fitting protection
of Indians and Eskimos, the conservation of game, the provision of workmen's
compensation, and protection against the spread of venereal diseases. Especially
significant was the Sanitary Control Ordiance (1940) which safeguarded the health
of the residents of mining, timber, petroleum, and construction camps by govern–
ing the selection of camp sites, guarding against pollution of lakes and streams
and the contamination of food, regulating camp drainage and living conditions in

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

bunk and cook houses, and by making employers responsible for first-aid and
emergency hospital equipment. In camps employing over 50 men the employer was
required "to contract with a legally qualified practitioner for medical aid"
to his employees.
In addition to its legislative functions, the Northwest Territories Council
acted in an advisory capacity to the Minister of Mines and Resources on such
matters of administration as the improvement of the Mackenzie River-Great Bear
Lake transportation route, the provision of aircraft landing facilities, the
Protection of workers engaged in the mining and milling of pitchblende, the
regulation of mining especially in the Yellowknife area, the administration of
law and order, the regulation of trapping and of the sale of liquor, the con–
sideration of application for permits to carry on exploratory and scientific
investigations, the establishment of meteorological stations in the Arctic, the
provision of radio servies, the organization of the annual Eastern Arctic Patrol,
the conduction of inspection tours into the Territories, the formation of agri–
cultural and nutritional surveys, and the extension of educational, hospital,
and medical services.
The over-all responsibility for the administration of various acts, ordin–
ances, and regulations pertaining to the vast Canadian Northland rested with
the Director of the Lands, Parks and Forests Branch of the Department of Mines
and Resources, who held also the post of Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest
Territories. A Superintendent for the Mackenzie District and another for the
Eastern Arctic facilitated department administration at Ottawa, while a number
of outside departmental agents served in numerous capacities. For example, as
the result of financial stringency on the part of the federal government and the
lack of a progressive program for the North, the years 1939-1944 witnessed the

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

Mackenzie public administrator at Fort Smith endeavoring also to perform the
duties of agent of Dominion lands, superintendent of Wood Buffalo National Park,
crown timber agent, mining recorder, stipendiary magistrate, and marriage com–
missioner. At Port Radium a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police assumed
the additional duties of Dominion land agent, timber agent, and mining recorder.
Even the department medical officers at eight or more scattered territorial
points frequently were called upon to perform a variety of administrative duties
which doubtless interfered with the proper discharge of their initial assignment.
The judicial machinery, as provided under the Northwest Territories Act of
1905 and its amendments, was adapted to the requirements of a small and scatter–
ed population. Enforcement of law and order in accordance with the common law
of England, the statutes of the Canadian Parliament in so far as they were ap–
plicable to the Territories, and the local ordinances of the Territorial Co [: ] ncil
was in the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the stipendiary magistrates,
and justices of the peace. In the absence after 1905 of a supreme court of the
Northwest Territories, five stipendiary magistrates exercised the powers and
functions of the judge of such a court, while the superior courts of the provinces
adjoining the Territories exercised therein the same jurisdiction in civil mat–
ters respecting persons, property, suite, and proceedings as they possessed
within their own territorial limits. The stipendiary magistrates tried in a
summary manner such charges as minor theft, unlawful wounding, and certain types
of assault, with the intervention of a jury unless the accused elected otherwise.
The justices of the peace, appointed by the Gpvernor-in-Council, possessed in
large measure the jurisdiction and powers of a magistrate. All commissioned
officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police served at strategic points as
justices of the peace, and during their winter and summer patrols to distant

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

and widely scattered posts enforced law and order and performed various other
administrative functions.
With the fur trade the major industry in the Territories until it was sur–
passed in production value by mining in 1939, the federal authorities establish–
ed such game preserves as Wood Buffalo Park and Thelon and Twin Island Game sanc–
tuaries in aid of the basic livelihood of the native population. Trapping with–
in these preserves was confined to Indians, Eskimos, half-breeds living the life
of natives, and such white trappers as were operating in the areas prior to their
reservation. In addition to natives and half-breeds born in the Territories who
did not require licenses, hunting and trapping were restricted to British sub–
jects possessing licenses on May 3, 1938, and to the children of British parents
residing in the Territories for the previous four yea rs who were eligible for
licenses. An amendment of the Northwest Territories Act effective January 1,
1929, levied an export tax on furs shipped or carried from the Territories to
any other part of Canada or to any other country.
The Department of Mines and Resources, including its Bureau of Geology and
Topography, contributed greatly to the development of mining in the Northwest
Territories, whose mineral production (exclusive of pitchblende products) to
the close of 1943 was valued at over $20,000,000. The development of resources
of oil at Norman Wells (since 1920), of pitchblende at Labine Point on the east
side of Great Bear Lake (since 1930), of gold and silver in the vicinity of
Yellowknife on the north shore of Great Slave Lake (since 1935), and the inves–
tigation of other mineral deposits, led to increased appointments of mining and
other administrative officials to meet the needs of new mining settlements and
enlarged mineral production. The recording of mining claims, the issuing of
miners' licenses, and the enforcement of mining regulations comprised the major

EA-Canada" General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

duties of the outside administrative staff of the Department.
The Department of Mines and Resources administered also the lands of the
Northwest Territories under the Dominion Lands Act. During the period under
review, the familiar free homestead system was never applied to the North, al–
though provision was made for the purchase of surveyed land for agricultural
purposes. Aside from mineral-bearing lands, practically all the land disposed
of were lots acquired in the various settlements for residential, trading, mis–
sionary, and transportation purposes. In addition, temporary use of certain
lands was made available under license of occupation and other vacant crow
could be leased under the hay and grazing regulations. Moreover, certain
educational, religious, and charitable institutions were empowered to cut fuel–
wood under permits, although timber regulations required other parties to pay
annual dues.
The general health and welfare of the 12,000 Indians, Eskimos, and indigent
white and half-breed populations of the Northwest Territories was until late in
1945 among the numerous and varied responsibilities of the Department of Mines
and Resources. Its Indian Affairs Branch stationed a number of full-time medi–
cal officers at Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, and Fort Norman, while the Council
of the Northwest Territories provided medical officers at Fort Smith and Aklavik.
The medical services which these men were able to render were seriously curtailed
not only by inadequate facilities but also by additional duties of an administra–
tive character. In the Eastern Arctic, the Territorial Administration stationed
medical officers at Chesterfield on the west coast of Hudson Bay and at Pangnir–
tung on Baffin Land, and arranged for one or two medical officers to accompany
the annual Eastern Arctic patrol. The latter work of examining the Eskimos at
all ports of call was, however, usually cut short by the need of the Nascopie

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

to complete its tour within a single season. In addition to the medical health
officers of the Department of Mines and Resources, the mining and petroleum com–
panies employed medical men during recent years at such points in the Mackenzie
Valley as Norman Wells, Port Radium, and Yellowknife.
At the latter two centers, well equipped hospitals were owned and operated
by the Eldorado Company and the consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, respec–
tively. While the government prior to 1944 did not own or operate any hospitals
in the Northwest Territories, it assisted in the construction of some, and in
the maintenance of all of the ten mission hospitals operated by the Roman Cath–
olic Church and the Anglican Church. In addition to the payment of $2,30 per
diem for each patient receiving treatment, the government paid an annual grant
of $200 for the maintenance of aged and infirm destitute persons, maintained the
medical officers, and furnished medical supplies to the mission hospitals. The
Department of Mines and Resources contributed also to general welfare through
the provision of supplies and equipment when game and fur-bearing animals were
scare, relief rations for the aged and incapacitated natives, game preserves for
the exclusive use of Indians and Eskimos, and the development of a reindeer in–
dustry near the Mackenzie River delta. Established in 1935, the reindeer herd
provided meat for mission hospitals and residential schools or for relief, led
to the development of small herds under native management, and became the means
of training young Eskimo herders with the view ultimately of transforming the in–
dustry largely into a native one.
Nonetheless, the health and welfare program of the government was most in–
adequate. The government was singularly negligent in failing to assume full re–
sponsibility for the location, construction, equipment, and services of the north–
ern hospitals, and in failing to provide adequate funds and skilled medical atten-

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

tion to combat epidemics of contagious diseases and especially tuberculosis
among the northern natives whose susceptibility to many diseases was attribut–
able to their high degree of malnutrition resulting from the encroachment of
the white man's civilization. However, following a health survey of the Mack–
enzie Valley in 1944 by Dr. C. J. Wherrett, of the Canadian Tuberculosis Assoc–
iation, the federal government transferred native health from the Department of
Mines and Resources to the newly created Department of National Health and Wel–
fare on November 1, 1945, and plans were soon taking shape for reorganizing and
vastly improving the health services in the North.
Closely linked with health and welfare, the education of the white, native,
and half-breed children was the responsibility of the Department of Mines and
Resources, through its Indian Affairs Branch and its Northwest Council. Never–
theless, this Council in Ottawa failed to enact a single educational ordinance
during the years 1905 to 1945. While the school ordinance and regulations of
the old Northwest Territories of pre-1905 were presumably legally applicable to
the North, it was clear that few of their provisions were in active operation.
The truth was that, apart from two public schools opened at Yellowknife and Fort
Smith in 1939 and 1940 largely for the benefit of white children, grants made in
support of education by the Department, and arrangements for secondary education
through correspondence courses offered by the provincial authorities of Alberta
and Ontario, the actual provision of educational facilities in the Territories
rested with the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church missions which operated day
and residential schools, largely for native children at such centers as Aklavik,
Fort Resolution, Fort Providence, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, and Hay River. De–
spite the conscientious efforts of the missionaries, native education, left large–
ly to the rival churches whose chief purpose was the conversion of souls to Chris-

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

tianity, was not a success owing to the limited financial grants, the lack of
government policy or supervision, and the inadequate curriculum that made very
little provision for the sort of educational facilities or courses likely to
equip the native children for successful living and leadership in their northern
environment.
Exploratory and scientific investigations of the Survey Bureau of the De–
partment of Mines and Resources, carried on in cooperation with other departments
of the federal government, constituted another significant aspect of administra–
tive policy. Commencing as early as 1884 and increasing in frequency after World
War I, Canadian government expeditions into the Eastern Arctic have taken place
yearly since 1922. The earlier ones were devoted to the extension of geographi–
cal knowledge and the establishment of Canada's claim to sovereignty over the
arctic islands adjoining the mainland; in more recent years they comprised topo–
graphical, meteorological, geological, mineralogical, biological, botanical,
medical, social, and economic investigations, which have added greatly to know–
ledge of the arctic and subarctic lands.
The annual Eastern Arctic Patrol shared with numerous field forces the im–
portant work of scientific research in the North. The R.M.S. Nascopie , a 2,500–
ton vessel specially constructed for arctic service and operated by the Hudson's
Bay Company, sailed annually from some Canadian Atlantic port on its mission of
inspection, scientific investigation, and administration. Used by the Canadian
government for its annual patrol of R.C.M.P. posts, post offices, radio and met–
eorological stations, trading posts, and missions, the Nasco [: ] ie carried govern–
ment officials, scientists, doctors, police, other personnale, mail and suplies
to ports of call in northern Quebec, the Canadian Eastern Arctic mainland, and
the islands in Hudson Strait and Bay and in the Arctic Archipelago. The patrol

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

gave the appropriate officials opportunity to observe living conditions among
the natives and to minister to their needs.
Transportation and communication — the provieion of truck and winter
tractor roads, airports, landing fields, passenger, mail, and express services
by land, water, and air, and radio communications at and between pioneer settle–
ments and strategic points in the Canadian Northland — were the responsibility
of the Departments of Mines and Resources, Transport, Post Office, and National
Defense working in close cooperation.
Largely owing to the lack of concentrated settlement in the reorganized
Northwest Territories, it was not until October 1, 1939, that the Commissioner–
in-Council of the Territories established the first local self-governing body in
the said Territories. Set up under authority of the local Administrative Dis–
trict Ordinance, the Yellowknife Administrative District embraced an area of
slightly more than 38 square miles around the mining community of Yellowknife
on the north arm of Great Slave Lake. The local governing body, known as the
Trustee Board of the Yellowknife Administrative District, commenced to function
on January 1, 1940. Its membership of five was in 1945 increased to seven, three
of whom were elected by the citizens and four, including the chairman, appointed
by the Commissioner. The Trustee Board was empowered to pas by-laws governing
the raising of local revenues by taxation on real and personal property, by poll
tax, and by licensing occupations, the prevention of cruelty to animals, relief
of the poor, the appointment of health officers and the protection of public
health, the appointment of local officials, the establishment of a fire depart–
ment, the construction and maintenance of roads, streets, sidewalks, sewers, the
regulation of traffic, and the support of schools. The elected school board of
three members administered the local school district and employed a teacher to

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

carry on the educational program in accord with the Alberta curriculum.
Although the frequent changes made in compiling statistical information,
the destruction of many old records, and the difficulty in making an equitable
division of the expenditures of federal government departments between the Ter–
ritories and the rest of Camada renders a discussion of administrative costs in
the Northwest Territories during the years 1905-45 wholly inadequate, a sampling
of certain items for a typical year or two might prove of value. Administrative
expenditures and revenues of the Department of Mines and Resources in the North–
west Territories for the year 1939-40 totalled $292,028.88 and $150,479.40, re–
spectively. The annual Eastern Arctic patrol of the Nasco [: ] ie usually cost from
$23,000 to $27,000, while the cost of maintenance and operation of the radio ser–
vices of the Territories ranged annually from $199,425 to $318,900. The vote
for arctic exploration and administration occasionally amounted to $190,000. In
addition, a considerable portion of the annual votes of Parliament for postal
services, Indian affairs, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and topographical and
and geological surveys were expended in the Northwest Territories.
The War and Post-War Development of the Canadian Northland
The revolutionary development of aerial transport facilities, the strategic
position of the Arctic with respect to the world's populated land masses, and the
history of World War II and its aftermath combined to bring the polar regions of
Canada into world prominence. Urgent military necessity to stem the Japanese
aggressive advance in the Pacific and to provide material aid to hard-pressed
European allies, during 1939-45, led to the co-operative marshalling by Canada
and the United States of the necessary pioneering spirit, engineering skill, and
financial resources for the wartime construction of such enormous undertakings

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

as the Northwest Staging Route of airports, the Alaska Military Highway, the
Canol oil pipeline, the Catel telephone system, and numberous other arctic air–
ways projects, all of which placed Canada in a vital position with respect to
the shorter transpolar air routes between the North American continent and the
principal centers of Europe and Asia. Of special importance in developing aerial
transport facilities with Alaska, the Soviet Union, and Britain was the construc–
tion of large landing fields in the Mackenzie District at Fort Smith, Fort Reso–
lution, Hay River, Yellowknife, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Wrigley, and Nor–
man Wells and under joint defense auspices along the so-called "Crimson" air
route from southern Alberta to the shores of Davis Strait.
Most famous of the wartime northern projects was the Alaska Highway which
follows the orthwest Staging Route from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, via
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, to Fairbanks, Alaska. Pioneered before the war
by a string of airports built by the Canadian Department of Transport, the high–
way was constructed in 1942-43 following an exchange of notes between the govern–
ments of Canada and the United States. Under the terms of agreement, the United
States assumed the cost of construction and maintenance until the termination of
the war and for six months thereafter, while the Canadian government provided
free rights of way, timber and gravel, waived import duties, sales taxes and
license fees, and facilitated the free admission of labor and supplies from the
United States. On April 1, 1946, the road became a part of the Canadian system
of highways, and was placed under the supervision of the Canadian Army. Building
equipment used by the United States engineers on the Highway was a part of the
materials and installations which the United States agreed to turn over to Canada
for $12,000,000 in an exchange of notes tabled by the Canadian Prime Minister in
the House on April 8, 1946.

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

Hardly less spectacular but of slight military value was the United States
construction of the "Canol" project. Under an exchange of notes in 1942-43,
the United States assumed the coasts of construction which involved drilling
for oil in the vicinity of Norman Wells for the purpose of increasing supply
for the use of the use of the armed forces in Canada and Alaska and along the Alaska High–
way; the construction of a pipeline from Norman Wells to Whitehorse; the erec–
tion of an oil refinery at Whitehorse; and the erection of oil storage facilities
at Prince Rupert and the construction of a gasoline pipeline from Skagway, Alaska,
to Whitehorse. While the title of the right of way remained with Canada, the
United States held the ownership of the pipeline and refinery until the close of
the war, when Canada was to have the first option of purchase. An exchange of
notes between Canada and the United States, made public January 15, 1947, dis–
closed that the former agreed for the United States, which financed the huge
enterprise, either to sell the refinery, pipeline, and other facilities to pri–
vate buyers or scrap it entirely. In April 1948, Imperial Oil Limited was dis–
mantling and transporting the Whitehorse oil refinery, which it had purchased
from the United States Government, to the rich new oil field of Leduc near Edmon–
ton, Alberta.
As a natural consequence of the publicity given these wartime projects and
the growing realization by the Canadian people of the strategic position and
potential wealth of the North, the federal authorities in the early post-war years
commenced to institute more progressive and energetic administrative programs.
An indication of an awakening to the realization of the significance of the Yukon
and Northwest Territories was the dispatch in 1944 of numerous survey parties
into the North by the Department of Mines and Resources to investigate wild life
soil, forests, geology, education, health and welfare, etc. With the appointment

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

of Dr. H. L. Keenleyside as Deputy Minister of the Department of Mines and
Resources and as Commissioner of the Northwest Territories Council, early in
1947, came greatly increased financial appropriations, scientific investigations,
improved services, and the beginning of important administrative changes.
At time of writing (April 1948), the Northwest Territories were still
governed by a Territorial Council in Ottawa composed of a Commissioner, a Deputy
Commissioner (R.A. Gibson), five Couneillors (R.A. Hoey, J.G. McNiven, L.C.
Audette, Air Commodore H. B. Godwin, Commissioner S.T. Wood of the R.C.M.P.),
appointed by the Governor-General-in-Council; and the Secretary, J.G. Wright.
The Council's meetings were composed of two sections: one, advisory to the Min–
ister of Mines and Resources on matters pertaining to administration of the
Territories; the other functioning as a legislative body and open to representa–
tives of the press. The various acts, ordinances, and regulations concerning
the Territories were administered by the Northwest Territories and Yukon Services
(of which there were three Divisions — Arctic, Mackenzie, and Yukon), under
the supervision of R.A. Gibson, the Director of the Lands and Development Ser–
vice Branch of the Department.
A portion of the Northwest Territories was given representation in Parlia–
ment in 1947, when the electoral district of Yukon (represented by the Hon.
George Black, K.C., M.P.) was enlarged by the addition of that part of the Dis–
trict of Mackenzie lying to the west of the 109th meridian of west longitude,
and was renamed the electoral district of Yukon-Mackenzie River. Also the Trus–
tee Board of the Yellowknife Administrative District was increased by the addi–
tion of two more elected members, so that the Board in 1948 consisted of nine
members, five of whom were elected and four nominated.
In 1947 and 1948 increased attention was being given Canada's northern

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

regions by various departments of the Federal Government. The welfare of the
Indian, Eskimo, and indigent white and half-breed population of the Northwest
Territories remained the responsibility of the Department of Mines and Resources,
while medical care and hospitalization were transferred to the Indian Health
Services of the Department of National Health and Welfare on November 1, 1945.
Indians and Eskimos in the Territories were receiving family allowances in kind
under the administrative control of the Department of Mines and Resources follow–
ing their registration for this purpose by the R.C.M.P. While granted to the
Eskimos chiefly to provide nutritive food, provision was made whereby family
allowances could be used to improve their living standards through the purchase of
such items as rifles, fish nets, and boats. Also a new 40-bed Red Cross hospital
was put in operation at Yellowknife.
Following the loss of the R.M.S. Nascopie after striking a reef at Cape
Dorset, Baffin Island, in July 1947, the Canadian government authorized the con–
struction of a new vessel at a cost of $2,000 000, to have a range of 10,000
miles, freight capacity of 1,000 tons, and accommodation for officers of the
Eastern Arctic Patrol and other officials having cause to go into the Arctic.
The Northwest Territories continued to be servec chiefly by water and aerial
transportation facilities. Nonetheless, truck and tractor roads suitable for
motor traffic existed in the vicinity of settlements and mining communities,
and between strategic points to facilitate the freighting of supplies, while an
important new road was reaching completion, connecting the railhead at Grimshaw,
Alberta, with the Lower Hay River Post at Great Slave Lake. Post-war aerial
transport improvements included the development of a number of all-weather air–
fields, the construction of landing strips to facilitate mining operations, and
the modernization of Yellowknife airport to accommodate large passenger land freight

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

planes.
In the field of education the first beginning of a major reform program
was under way. Several steps were taken to improve educational standards, such
as the appointment of an Inspector of Schools, the provision of scholarships
for university and special training, the distribution throughout the Eastern
Arctic of pamphlets in Eskimo syllabics and dealing with health instruction and
native economics, and the construction of new schools. The modern 8-room school
built at Yellowknife with a grant of $200,000 from the Northwest Territories
Administration deserves special mention; it is known as the School of Opportunity
for the Northwest Territories.
Considerable post-war progress was also in evidence in forest protection
and wilflife management in the Territories. The Department of Mines and Re–
sources established early in 1946 a Forest and Wild Life Service. Headed by a
Superintendent of Forest and Wildlife Management resident at Fort Smith, the
organization included two mammalogists, a forest engineer, and around 20 wardens.
During 1947, experienced fire-fighting crews with modern equipment patrolled the
Mackenzie, Liard, and Slave river systems and the Great Slave Lake area, while
the Superintendent had aircraft at his disposal for patrol purposes. In 1947,
the Chief Botanist of the National Museum (A. E. Porsild) accompanied by H. J.
Hargrove of the Dominion Experimental Station at Swift Current, Saskatchewan,
inspected the reindeer herd, which totalled 6,200 head, during the annual round–
up at Richards Island and near Anderson River. In December of 1947 a superintend–
ent of the reindeer range station was appointed to watch over the development
of the reindeer industry. In the Eastern Arctic the Department of Fisheries,
through Dr. Max Dunbar, investigated the resources of sea mammals and fish avail–
able for the Eskimos and their sled dogs.

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

The Department of Mines and Resources carried out a broad program of
scientific investigations during the summer of 1948 in Canada's northland
regions. A. W. Banfield of the Federal Wild Life Service headed a caribou
survey to determine the number and condition of these animals which mean so
much to the welfare of the Eskimos. A group of scientists of the Dominion
Observatory conducted additional explorations of the megnetic pole region pre–
liminary to the establishment of more magnetic bases and the drawing of magnetic
meridians so essential to the drafting of air and sea navigational charts. The
National Museum sent archaeological, biological, and ethnological research par–
ties to Cornwallis Island and Eureka Sound on Ellesmere Island, to examine Eskimo
sites. The extensive programs of 1948 included also the investigation of radio–
active minerals, iron ore occurrences and regions favorable for oil, gas and
coal. A scientific research station was established at Baker Lake and in 1948
plans were under way to build two new northern weather stations to supplement
those opened at Eureka Sound and Resolution Bay during 1947. While these weather
stations were being operated jointly by Canadian and United States personnel with
Canadian officers in command, the two countries cooperated in their construction,
Canada assuming the cost of buildings and permanent installations and the United
States supplying the transportation.
Although it appeared desirable in the immedi [: ] post-war years that Canada
and the United States should cooperate, as above, in the development of scientific
interprises in the Canadian Arctic and neighboring Alaska as a natural corollary
of the cooperative defense enterprises which the two nations carried out under
Permanent Joint Board of Defense arrangements during World War II, the strategic
position of the Canadian North and the critical state of United States-Soviet
Union relations in the summer of 1948 gave Canadian people cause for considerable
concern. While Canada and the United States engaged in joint arctic research

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

and cooperated in the establishment of arctic weather stations, and while Can–
adian personnel accompanied United States polar flights and American military
personnel participated in the Canadian Army's "Operation Muskox" and its exer–
cises in the vicinity of Churchill, the Soviet Union's Igvestia charged that
the United State was "covering the North American segment of the Arctic, plus
Greenland and Iceland, with a network of military bases and airfields." There
was growing suspicion in Canada that is government was being pressed unduly by
United States air-minded military leaders to concede military bases in Canada's
northland and thereby make it the "front line and military proving ground" for
possible war with the U.S.S.R. Nevertheless, there existed a staunch hope that
the Canadian Government would display great wisdom, tact, and determination to
prevent its strategic "undefended roof of North America" becoming a cause for
war and that an energetic development program of peaceful enterprises in the
Canadian Northland would eventually serve to reconcile divergent interests,
dissolve mutual suspicions, and develop understanding and respect among all the
races and nations that share the roof of the world.

EA-Canada: General. Lingard: Administration of Canadian North

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Canada Debates of the House of Commons . Ottawa, annually.

Dawaon, C. A. (Ed.) The New North-West . Toronto, 1947.

Department of
the Interior The North West Territories . Ottawa, 1930.

Department of
Mines and Re–
sources An Outline of the Canadian Eastern Arctic. Ottawa, 1944.

----. The Northwest Territories . Ottawa, 1944.

The Globe and Mail. Toronto.

Hopkins, J. Castell The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs . Toronto.

Lingard, C. C. Territorial Government of Canada . Toronto, 1946.

Lloyd, Trevor "Canada's Strategic North." International Journal. April 1947.

The New York Times

Ordinances of the Yukon Territory. Ottawa.

Canada Report of the Department of Mines and Resources . Ottawa,
annually since 1937.

Statutes of Canada . Ottawa.

Weigert, Hans W.
& Stefansson, V. Compass of the World . New York, 1947.

The Yukon Territory . Ottawa, 1944 & 1947.

C. Cecil Lingard

Health Services in Northern Saskatchewan

EA-Canada: General
(C. G. Sheps)

HEALTH SERVICES IN NORTHERN SASKATCHEWAN

That part of Saskatchewan which is known as the "far north" is really
a subarctic area. It has a population of ten thousand people widely scattered
in very small settlements over an area of roughly 100,000 square miles, in
which communication facilities as usually understood are largely unknown. The
problems involved in providing adequate modern health services for these people
present the same essential features found in providing health services to any
rural population, except, of course, that they exist in this situation in a most
aggravated form. The availability of medical and other technical personnel and
also medical facilities is determined basically by the density (or sparsity)
of population in the area, the economic status of this population, and, to a
lesser degree, by its educational, social, and cultural level.
It is immediately obvious that the "far north" of Saskatchewan fares poor–
ly indeed in each of these respects. The small population, of which half is
Treaty Indian, slightly more than one-third Metis, and the balance white, is
not only poor and very sparsely settled, but has a tendency to be somewhat
itinerant. The problem of health services for this area is further complicated
by the fact that half its population, the Treaty Indians, are the responsibility
of the Dominion Government through a division of its Department of National
Health and Welfare. This makes planning for the area and its people as a whole
difficult.
The health services available in the "far north" are a reflection of the

EA-Canada: General. Sheps: Health Services in Northern Saskatchewan

health program of the province as a whole. With respect to the distribution
and accessibility of health facilities and technical personnel, the people of
Saskatchewan have for many years been making steady progress in the collective
provision of medical and hospital services. Much progress has been made since
1944, with the election of a new government formed by the Cooperative Common–
wealth Federation. This is a Canadian farmer-labor party patterned after the
Labor Party in Britain. One of the basic planks in its platform is the expan–
sion of health and welfare services. There has been a movement forward, as
rapidly as possible, toward a provincial system of health services, by which
it is intended that every resident, regardless of income and location, will have
the benefit of scientific medicine and health services when he needs them.
Previously the services and facilities available in the "far north" were:
(1) Payment of the costs of medical, dental, hospital care, and
transportation for the destitute people. With the exception
described in (2), these services were not made available in
an organized fashion. Payment was simply made when and if
the services had been rendered.
(2) Three outpost hospitals were in operation in settlements in
cooperation with the Canadian Red Cross. One of these had
a resident physician employed by the provincial health de–
partment.
(3) Emergency service, primarily for epidemics, from the above–
mentioned physician or from the staff of the provincial de–
partment of public health.
In the past few years, several measures were carried out, either for the
province as a whole or especially designed for this area, which have signifi–
cantly improved health conditions in the "far north." These are:

EA-Canada: General. Sheps: Health Services in Northern Saskatchewan

(1) The establishment, in 1947, of a special division in the De–
partment of Public Health, known as the Far North Division,
and headed by a medical officer. This division takes the re–
sponsibility of carrying on an organized public health program
for this area, much as a local health department does in any
local area. In addition to its preventive responsibilities,
it is developing a program of providing diagnostic and curative
medical services for this population.
(2) In 1947-48, three new "outpost hospitals" or nursing stations
were built and placed in operation at strategic locations, such
as Stoney Rapids in the Lake Athabaska area. These institu–
tions have been specially designed to meet the needs and spec–
ial problems of the area. A public health nurse is stationed
at each of them at all times. She provides care for maternity
cases and provides a basis of general care to the local residents,
in addition to a preventive program. The hospitals are also
outfitted for minor surgery to enable "traveling" doctors to
perform operations of a minor nature when they make regular
visits to the settlements. It is intended to operate the total
of six such hospital outposts now available in a unified and
coordinated fashion.
(3) In 1946, a regular Air Ambulance Service was organized by the
Provincial Department of Public Health for the entire Province.
Thus each medical emergency requiring aerial transportation
from an isolated area to an adequate hospital no longer invol v es
the working out of special arrangements. This service is available

EA-Canada: General. Sheps: Health Services in Northern Saskatchewan

whenever needed and is provided by a special force of ambul–
ance planes operated by the health department. In the Far
North, air ambulance service is available through the force
of planes of the Department of Natural Resources regularly
operating in this area. An important feature of this service
is the fact that the cost need not be a deterrent in any in–
stance. A nominal charge of $25.00 is made for a flight, re–
gardless of distance traveled, and this fee is readily waived
when it cannot be paid. Thus in 1947, such transportation
was utilized by over 100 patients of the Far North.
(4) In 1947, hospitalization was provided to over 500 persons,
slightly more then 10% of the total white and Metis population.
(5) On January 1, 1948, residents of the "far north" became eligible
to participate in the Saskatchewan Hospital Services Plan on
a voluntary basis, and many of them are reported to be taking
advantage of the Service. This scheme was put into general
effect the previous year and is compulsory for the rest of the
province. By the payment of an annual fee of $5.00 per person,
with a family maximum of $30.00, the scheme, which is operated and
heavily subsiddzed by the Provincial Health Department, entitles
the residents to a very broad range of hospital services without
any charge. Thus the cost of hospital services is equalized,
and no one need any longer fear a financially crippling hospital
bill.
These are the basic improvements which have recently been made. Medical
services, both preventive and curative, have been made more easily available,

EA-Canada: General. Sheps: Health Services in Northern Saskatchewan

and the burden of their cost has been lightened by the use of subsidies from
general tax funds and the use of the insurance principle. The further develop–
ment of health services in this area is hampered by the fact that the Provincial
Government is responsible for only one-half of the population, the whites and
the metis, while the Dominion Government is respons bi ib le for the other half, the
Treaty Indians.
As mentioned above, the development of health services for the north is
but a reflection of the developing health program for the province as a whole,
with special features to deal with the special characteristics of this area.
Furthermore, salutary effects on the health of these people are to be expected
from the progressive developments in education and social welfare, as the pro–
vincial program in these fields has broadened.
C. G. Sheps, M.D.

The Department of National Health and Welfare

EA-Canada: General

(Department of Nat'l. Health & Welfare - G.F. Davidson, Minister)

THE DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE

History
In the year 1919 an act was passed establishing the Department of
National Health for the promotion of the health of the Canadian people.
Prior to this time federal health activities were under the administration
of several different departments. In 1927 the Department of Soldiers'
Civil Re-establishment, which was responsible for the hospitalization
and care of veterans in the World War I, was amalgamated with the Depart–
ment of National Health to form the Department of Pensions and National
Health. The Department of Pensions and National Health was dissolved
in 1944 and separate Departments of National Health and Welfare, and
Veterans' Affairs were established.
In addition to its general public health activities, the National
Health Branch of the Department of Health and Welfare assumes direct
responsibility for the administration of health services to the natives
of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The National Welfare branch
administers the family allowance program, the National Physical Fitness
Act, and carries out the federal responsibilities under the Dominion–
provincial old age pension plan.
The Honourable Brooke Claxton was appointed first Minister of the
new Department. Major-General Brock Chisholm, was appointed Dep [: ] ty Minister

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: The Department of National Health and Welfare

of Health, and Dr. George F. Davidson, Deputy Minister of Welfare. In 1946
Mr. Claxton assumed the portfol i o of National Defence and the Honourable
Paul Martin became Minister of National Health and Welfare. On the appoint–
ment of Dr. Chisholm as Executive Secretary of the Interim Commission of the
World Health Organization, Dr. G.D.W. Cameron became Deputy Minister of
Health.
Organization
The Department of Health and Welfare is divided into three branches
for administrative purposes. The divisions and functions of each branch
are outlined briefly below.
1. Health Branch. The Blindness Control Division is responsible for the
medical supervision of pensions for the civilian blind.
The Child and Maternal Health Division collects, tabulates, and
distributes information pertaining to child and maternal welfare and
conducts research in the field of child and maternal health.
The Civil Service Health Division provides clinical services and
emergency medical and dental care to federal employees, together with
disease prevention and control programs.
The Dental Health Division is concerned with the improvement of
dental health conditions and standards in Canada. Its functions include
collection and distribution of professional information.
The Epidemiology Division supplies epidemiological material to the
department together with consultation and advice on epidemiology.
Food and Drugs Directorate: (1) The Food and Drugs Division maintains
five laboratories to test the quality and purity of domestic and imported
goods, and to prevent adulteration and misbranding. (2) The Proprietary

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: The Department of National Health and Welfare

and Patent Medicines Division reviews applications for registration and
licensing of all secret formula non-pharmacopoeial medicines. (3) The
Advertising and Labels Division determines policy in regard to the control
of advertising in various media and labelling of food, drugs, and proprie–
tary medicines.
The Health Insurance Studies Division carries on research activities
in health insurance and public medical care programs, and in problems con–
nected with hospital facilities, and the medical, dental, and nursing services
of Canada.
The Hospital Design Division collects, tabulates, and makes available
to the provinces all the latest information on hospital design, studies
problems of construction in the provinces, advises them on the planning of
buildings, and develops minimum standards as a guide for different types
of public institutions.
Indian Health Services are responsible for the complete health care
of the Indian and Eskimo. This involves all phases of public health,
including the provision of medical and surgical and nursing services,
and the operation of departmental hospitals. Acute infectious diseases,
tuberculosis, malnutrition, and venereal disease constitute the major health
programs. Tubeculosis prevention and control programs together with
venereal disease control campaigns are carried out on as wide a scale as
possible. A study of eye infection problems in the north was carried out
in 1947 and is reported on in a separate monograph.
The Industrial Health Division makes a particular study of disease and
health hazards in industry and the means of combatting them, and provides
industry with the results of advances made in medical and related sciences.

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: The Department of National Health and Welfare

The Industrial Health Laboratories provide scientific advice to
industry through laboratory investigation of specific problems in the
field of industrial health.
The Mental Health Division is concerned with the improvement of mental
health conditions and standards of care in Canada.
The Narcotic Division supervises the legal trade in narcotics in an
effort to keep in check the illegal traffic. The division also carries out
Canada's commitments to the United Nations Narcotic Commission for the
international control of the drug trade.
The Nutrition Division is concerned with the improvement of the nutri–
tional value of the people of Canada and carries on educational work in
promoting the wiser use of foods. Research studies, including dietary
and nutritional surveys and tabulations are also made. The division has
conducted several courses for cooks and assistant cooks in Indian residen–
tial schools. Food supply lists for three Indian hospitals have also
been prepared by the division.
A monograph on nutrition surveys conducted in the Arctic will be found
elsewhere.
The Public Health Engineering Division is responsible for the super–
vision of drinking water, ice supplies, and milk used on railways, steam–
ships, and other common conveyors, for sanitation at all federal construction
projects, and for sanitary activities in the Northwest Territories.
The Public Health Laboratories inspect and control the manufacture of
all chemical products used for injection into humans; test the potency of
all biological products for the same use and investigate [: ] diseases peculiar
to Canadians. The laboratorieshave also improved and standardized public

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: The Department of National Health and Welfare

health techniques and introduced special diagnostic measures.
The Quarantine, Immigration and Sick Mariners Services are responsible
for the medical inspection of immigrants to Canada, for the enforcement
of quarantine regulations to prevent the penetration into Canada of con–
tagious diseases from abroad, and for giving medical care to mariners of
all nationalities who may fall ill while their vessels are in a Canadian
port.
The Venereal Disease Control Division provides Leadership in the re–
duction of venereal infection. Substantial financial grants are made to
the provinces to assist control programs, for the purchase of drugs and
educational materials used in combatting disease. An active interest is
maintained in work among the native races.
2. Welfare Branch . The Family Allowances Division is responsible for
the administration of the Family Allowances Act which stipulates that
mothers of children under sixteen years of age receive monthly cash grants
to aid in the maintenance, care, training, education, and advancement of
these children.
Administration is carried out by each of the regional directors in
the nine provincial capitals and, in addition, there is a director for the
administration of allowances for the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
The rates range from $5.00 to $8.00 a month depending on the age of
the child. The program cost $364,000,000 in the fiscal year 1946.
The Old Age Pensions Division administers the Dominion responsibilities
in regard to the Old Age Pensions Act, and regulations concerning old age
pensions and pensions for blind persons. Pensions are administered by the
provinces on a means test basis. The Dominion pays 75 per cent of the

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: The Department of National Health and Welfare

pension cost, while the provinces contribute the other 25 per cent, together
with provincial administration costs.
The Physical Fitness Division acts as a clearing house for information
concerning physical fitness, recreation, community centers, and allied acti–
vities. The division acts in a consultative capacity to the Indian Affairs
Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources with regard to physical fit–
ness programs in Indian residential schools.
3. Administration Branch. The administration branch is responsible
for carrying out administrative functions for both Health and Welfare
Branches. Activities of the Branch include research, personnel management,
legal advice, information services, purchase of supplies and equipment,
preparation of budget and estimates, passing accounts for payment, and
routine administrative duties.
Department of National Health and Welfare, Canada
G. F. Davidson, Minister

Canada: Indian and Eskimo Health Surveys

EA-Canada: General
(Department of National Health and Welfare)

CANADA: INDIAN AND ESKIMO HEALTH SURVEYS

An intensive survey of the economic, social, educational, and health
conditions of the northern Indian in Canada was carried on during 1947-48.
Purpose of the study was to examine the whole texture of Indian life and to
obtain a sound basis on which plans for their assistance could be built.
The survey, which was carried out in the James Bay area, was sponsored
by a committee from the Canadian unoversities, headed by Dr. R. P. Vivian,
professor of health and social medicine at McGill University, and financed
by a grant of $12,000 from the Canadian Life Insurance officers association,
with the balance being shared by the Indian Affairs Branch of the Department
of Mines and Resources and the Indian Health Services Division of the Depart–
ment of National Health and Welfare. A number of the investigation staff
donated their services.
Field surveys were carried out by specialists in agriculture, fur con–
servation, fisheries, education, nutrition, economics, sociology, and various
aspects of public health and welfare.
More than 700 Indians in the James Bay area were given complete physical
examinations during the course of the survey and about 500 were x-rayed for
tuberculosis.
Heading the medical group of the research party was Dr. F. F. Tisdall,
professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto. Special scientific
studies were done by Dr. W. H. Sebrell of the United States Public Health Service;

EA-Canada: General. Dept. Nat. Health & Welfare: Indian and Eskimo Health Surveys

Dr. William C. McIntosh of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons, Toronto; Dr.
P. E. Moore, Director of Indian Health Services, Department of National Health
and Welfare; Dr. Elizabeth Chant Robertson of the Hospital for Sick Children,
Toronto; Dr. Charles Macmillan of the Department of Health and Social Medicine,
McGill University; Gordon Stockley, Toronto, X-ray technician loaned by the Ontar–
io Health Department; Dr. Gordon Brown, Profesor of anthropology at the Univer–
sity of Toronto, and Michel Sym, scientific photographer of Winnipeg.
A similar study of the health and diet of the Eskimos was carried out on
Southampton Island at the northern end of Hudson Bay, in 1947 by a group from
Queen's University. The expedition was headed jointly by two Queen's University
professors, Dr. Malcolm Brown, associate professor of medicine, and Dr. R. G.
Sinclair, professor of biochemistry, who were accompanied by Dr. L. B. Cronk,
Queen's medical graduate, and G. C. Clark.
The expedition studied various aspects of the Eskimos' environment, par–
ticularly with regard to food, and conducted a complete survey of their health.
Between August 1 and September 12 these men traveled about the isolated
island (approximately 150 miles long and 150 miles wide), visiting Eskimos at
their camps, sampling their food, checking their health, and obtaining informa–
tion. The whole native population of 140 Eskimos were examined. The method
used in these surveys was novel; for the first time, instead of the Eskimos
coming to a central ship or station, the doctors went to the Eskimos.
The expedition was wholly under Queen's University control, but several
government bodies, including The National Research Council, and Departments of
National Health and Welfare, National Defense, and Transport, have taken an in–
terest in the trip and donated funds or services. The survey reports are not yet
(1948) available.
Department of National Health and Welfare, Canada

Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

EA-Canada: General
(Department of National Health & Welfare - G.F. Davidson, Minister)

MEDICINE IN THE CANADIAN ARCTIC

The history of medical practice among the Eskimos of the Canadian
Arctic is scattered throughout the writings of explorers, scientists,
missionaries, police and other government authorities, Hudson's Bay
Company records, and the publications of various scientific journals and
books. These recordings cover the period from the time of the earliest
contracts of our western civilization with these nomadic natives, and
especially since the history-making explorations of Parry and Ross in
the early part of the 19th century.
Most of our earliest information regarding the health habits and
practices of these interesting people is derived from the more or less
casual remarks of lay observers interwoven with the stories of the day-to–
day life of these primitive people and accounts of their religious super–
stitions and beliefs. Until comparatively recent years the practice of
scientific healing and preventive medicine has been unknown to them.
The conception of and treatment of diseases by the Eskimos was, and
still is to a large degree, similar to that of the Indian aborigines of
the North American continent, and closely parallels that of Europe in the
pre-Reformation [: ] . It is on a par with other human groups in a similar
cultural state. Wounds and disorders, the causes of which were evident,
were regarded quite rationally and were so treated. Because of the climatic
limitations of vegetation they lacked any knowledge of the art of concoctions

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

made from various animal tissues — bones, bone marrow, teeth, liver,
heart, etc. They had no knowledge of the usual extracts, tinctures, wines,
cathartics, antifebriles, and tonics. Narcotics and sedatives did not
enter into the Eskimo pharmacopoeia.
Whenever the cause of the complaint was obscure or when the condition
appeared to be serious, and all ordinary help seemed to fail — particularly
if the patient were a useful adult — the efforts were directed toward the
supernatural. The condition was considered as an affliction caused by an
offended malevolent spirit or deity. It was the spiteful visitation of a
secret enemy or the magic of a sorcerer. The propitiation of a deity or
spirit could only be accomplished by accomplished by a supernaturally endowed individual,
the shaman, generally a man, known to the white man as the "medicine man."
Most of these specialists became imbued with their high function and power
and developed into what is best described as "priest-healer." They exer–
cised a great, and at times a beneficial, influ c ence in the community apart
from the healing art. If, as often happened, the shaman's powers did not
avail, the repeated failures were accepted as a sign that he had lost his
occult gift and had turned sorcerer. This meant his downfall as a true
healer and counselor.
There was no established systematic surgery; nevertheless medicine
men and special healers were more or less adept in treating wounds, in
bone setting, and in the reduction of dislocations. They had a knowledge
of the use of sutures made from sinew for closing gaping wounds and con–
trolling haemmorrhage. Haemostasis by cautery was not unknown. Maggots
were considered beneficial in the treatment of chronic ulcers and bone
disease. Blood-letting was a common practice. The healing art of the

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

Eskimos could be summed up as a combination of primitive art, empirical
practice, and psychiatric treatment.
Obstetrical practice was confined to the older woman of the community.
The attendance of young, unmarried women was frowned upon. Mechanical
means of interference during labor, other than abdominal pressure by
various methods to assist the bearing-down process, were unknown.
The position assumed by the expectant mother was that of kneeling in
a semi-knee-chest posture. Postpartum infections were rare occurrences
and maternal mortality through accidents of childbirth not common. Cases
of brachial plexus palsies as the probable result of difficult labor have
been noted by medical observers. By and large Eskimo childbearing was,
and still is, regarded as a normal physiological procedure. Various
explorers have remarked on the minimum interference with the nomadic
routine caused by the process of childbearing. Rest for the new mother
was not considered essential except in rare instances.
From what can be gleaned from reliable recordings it is correct to
state that epidemic diseases much as whooping cough, measles, scarlet fever,
diphtheria, smallpox, and venereal diseases were unknown in the Canadian
Eskimo Arctic prior to their introduction by white visitors. With the
intrusion of the commercial fur trade, however, many communities were
ravaged by epidemics, and, lacking a natural resistance or knowledge of
treatment, the results were serious. In both eastern and western Arctic
typhoid fever became endemic and was controlled only by the wholesale
inoculation of the districts involved. With the opening up of Yukon
Territory toward the close of the 19th century, by the discovery of gold
in paying quantities, there came a migration of prospectors and miners
and what had been an almost unknown arctic region became a swarming hive

EA-Canada: Genera. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

of gold-seeking whites. The public health problem became acute and was
met by health officers attached to the Royal Northwest Mounted Police.
These doctors rendered notable service to the natives, as well as to the
invaders, by the enforcement of public health measures.
Early records of medical officers who became famous explorers are
replete with information regarding the customs and habits of the Canadian
Eskimos. They provide, however, very little actual information concerning
health and disease. All stress the near starvation level of both Indian
and Eskimo.
Sir John Richardson, surgeon and naturalist with the first and second
Franklin Expeditions, in 1819-22 and 1825-27, and later in 1847, in charge
of a Franklin search party in the Queen Maud Gulf area, made many notable
contributions to the general knowledge of the Arctic. In the field of
medicine he confined his duties to the care of his immediate companions.
Richard King, R. N. S., who accompanied Captain George Back in 1833-35
on an expedition of exploration from Fort Resolution to Adelaide Peninsula
and along the arctic coast, was very critical of the treatment of the
Indians and Eskimos by the white man and roundly condemned the supplying of
alcoholic liquor to them. He thought that alcohol and malnutrition would
soon cause the natives to die off.
Sir John Rae, F. R. C. S. in his expeditions in 1846-47 up the west coast
of Hudson Bay and into the Committee Bay region remarked on the robust
health of the natives and on their peaceful cooperation. He received a
report from a wandering Eskimo from the Igloolik area of an epidemic disease
that had caused the deaths of 29 adults. Children were not seriously affected.
He concluded that the condition must have been influenza. The same native

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

had wooden and metal pieces from the wreck of the Fury , of the Parry expe–
dition. The infection may have been introduced by British sailors, but,
if so, Presumably by more recent visitors than those of the Fury .
Ever since the earliest voyages of British whalers to Baffin Island
and Lancaster Sound, in the mid-eighteenth century, silors have remarked
on an epidemic form of the common cold that invariably followed a few days
after a ship's arrival at a settlement. Danish reports from Greenland
dwell on the same theme, and more recent reports from the Eastern Arctic
patrol of the R. M. S. Nascopie have come to accept ship-time colds as the
annual inevitable result of this contact. The infection usually wears
itself out in three or four weeks and is seldom serious in its sequel.
There is no evidence of an acquired protective immunity.
In 1926, Peter Heinbecker and other medical scientists under the
auspices of the American Museum of Natural History visited Greenland's
west coast and Baffin Island and carried out a series of bacteriological
and haemotological investigations among the Eskimos. He repeated the
voyages to the Canadian Eastern Arctic islands in 1931, working with
Canadian government officials. The findings of these researches have
been recorded in several technical medical publications. In blood grouping
tests he reported that Eskimos of pure racial stock all fell into Group I
and those of mixed blood are Group II. Any variations were too rare to
warrant notice.
Heinbecker carried out a thorough survey on both expeditions of
oral bacilli from Eskimo throats. In no instance did he find evidence
of sore throats, past or present. The buccal flora he reported as similar
to that of the average American community. He remarked on one case of

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

dental caries in a young Eskimo girl at Dundas Harbour, Devon Island.
This child was the daughter of an Eskimo family employed at the R. C. M. P.
post and had been living largely on police rations.
From throat cultures he identified corynebacterium in a large per–
centage of young people and found positive Schick tests in a majority of
the children up to 12 years of age. The same test was negative for all
adults. In the area surveyed he could get no history of epidemic sore
throats. The Canadian Survey covered 329 Eskimos of all age groups, both
sexes.
For several years a dental clinic has been a valuable part of the East–
ern Arctic Patrol. This service has been profitable by demonstrating that
the Eskimo livingly his native foods of seal meat, caribou, walrus meat,
whale, and fish does not suffer from dental caries and destructive gum
infections to the same extent as do the white population of Canada. Dental
decay is rare in the older age groups. This conditions is reversed when the
natives are employed for a considerable time by government or other white-man
agencies. The Eskimo women's way of rendering skins pliable for making
clothing and footwear by chewing, has caused marked flattening of the teeth
by erosion without causing infection and decay. This is the constant dis–
closure of dentists and doctors who have had opportunity to investigate.
On the Eastern Arctic patrols of 1946-47 the Canadian Institute for
the Prevention of Blindness directed the services of ophthalmologists and
optometrists. These specialists rendered treatment where indicated and
supplied glasses where required. The over-all visual findings discloses
that serious ophthalmic disabilities are rare, apart from occasional injuries
due to accidents. The most useful service was that of supplying well-fitted

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

glasses to the elderly people to assist in sewing and reading. When it is
considered that for a considerable portion of the year the natural light is
dim at the best and that the lighting of the native igloo or tent is wretched,
it is remarkable that there is little evidence that the Eskimo way of life
has caused deterioration of visual acumen. Transient disability due to
snowblindness does not appear to cause permanent ophthalmic damage.
Accounts in lay literature concerning the incidence of tuberculosis
among Canadian Eskimos indicate that it followed closely after the earliest
contacts with civilization. Medical literature and governmental reports
tell that this disease has long been endemic among these people. Clinical,
bacteriological, and x-ray findings all go to prove that tubercular
infection is not of recent introduction in the Arctic, as shown by the
number of arrested and apprently healed cases of lung and bone disease.
During the 1946 Eastern Arctic Patrol, a clinical and x-ray survey was made
of a large number of the inhabitants of Hudson Bay and Straits and the
Eastern Arctic islands. An excellent cross-section of the population was
obtained. A brief summary of this research is as follows:
Number of Eskimos X-rays and examined 1,347
Cross-section survey per cent of population 36%
Number of active cases 5.9%
Number of arrested cases 4.7%
The conclusion drawn is that there is evidence of widespread tubercu–
larization of the Eastern Arctic Eskimos, and a high resistance to the
disease as shown by the high percentage of calcified lesions in apparently
healthy robust people. None of the cases in the survey had received
hospital care up to the time of survey.
An analysis of birth statistics for the Arctic shows that fertility
is highest in the late spring, as disclosed by the higher birth rate in
December, January, February, and March. These are the cold, stormy, dark

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

months when basic native foods are hard to come by and when traveling is
most difficult. Infant deaths also run highest during these severe months.
The over-all death rate for Eskimo children under five years old is about
fifty percent of all deaths. The chief cause assessed is malnutrition.
The expectant mother is ill-nourished and is the one to suffer most in the
near starvation period. The newborn child is weak and undernourished because
of the depleted nutrition of the mother. The child of a year or more
suffers from malnutrition during the critical periods of weaning and first
dentition when proper auxiliary foods are not available because of isolation.
The proper collection of vital statistics for these nomadic people is
most difficult and the submission incomplete. Most births and deaths odour
without contact with white people, not to mention doctor or nurse, till long
after the events. With the present cultural development, conditions cannot
be otherwise. As a result 45% of all deaths are registered as "cause unknown."
There is no record of incompleted pregnancies. What proportion of early
infant deaths are due to early tubercular infections cannot be accurately
known, but it can be conjectured that with the widespread prevalence of the
disease this may be a prime factor in the high mortali e ty rate for infants.
Malnutrition and tuberculosis are compatible partners. The population
theory of Malthus is well exemplified in the Canadian Arctic, i.e.,
"population invariably increases where the means of subsistance increases
unless prevented by very powerful checks."
Organized medical service in the Canadian Arctic, Yukon Territory
excepted, was inaugurated in 1926 with the establishment of denominational
hospitals at Aklavik, in the Mackenzie River Delta, by the Anglican and
Roman Catholic churches. Both these institutions were subsidized by the
Canadian government and medical and nursing personnel paid from the same

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

source through the Department of the Interior, the administrative body at
that time. In the Eastern Arctic the same pattern was followed, the
religious bodies taking the initiative. A hospital was established at
Pangnirtung, Cumberland Sound, Baffin Island, in 1928 by the Anglican
Church. In 1931 the Oblate Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church erected
a hospital at Chesterfield Inlet. Both these institutions maintain homes
for the aged and infirm. The Canadian government assumed financial support
as in the cases of the Aklavik arrangements.
There was little extention of these health services up to and during
the period of World War II. In November 1945 all health affairs were taken
over by the Department of National Health and Welfare. At this time all
Indian and Eskimo health was transferred from the Department of Mines and
Resources to the newly formed Department. Previous to this the old Depart–
ment of Pensions and National Health had acted in an advisory capacity only.
Before and since the introduction of hospitals into the Arctic, medical
doctors have accompanied the annual Eastern Arctic patrol of the Hudson's
Bay Company's ice-breaker, R. M. S. Nascop i e into Hudson Strait and Bay and
the eastern arctic islands. This patrol gave opportunity to contact about
one-third of the Eskimo population The immediate function of these doctors
was to provide skilled aid to presenting cases. Their most valuable con–
tribution has been the collection of reliable information about the health
and cultural conditions of these nomadic people with the view of eventually
formulating an adequate medical service.
Any summary of arctic medicine would be inadequate and incomplete without
Proper acknowledgment of the unselfish and wholehearted contribution of the
scattered white population of these remote regions of Canada. Missionaries,

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

traders, trappers, explorers, scientists, R. C. M. Police, and government
officials of the several departments, have since the earliest history of
the North, been keenly interested in the health and welfare of the Eskimos.
A great deal of the accumulated knowledge of the needs of these primitive
people toward improved health and economic and cultural development has
been provided by the day-to-day service rendered and the intimate association
of our arctic pioneers with the receptive natives. Any anticipated extension
of medical aid and preventive health will still depend to a large degree on
the active cooperation of laymen and women domiciled at arctic outposts.
Radio communications have proved a real boon to both the Eskimos and
all those trying to serve them. Facilities for intercommunication by this
means have been established at almost all remote posts by the Canadian Corps
of Signals, by the Department of Transport, Radio Division, and by the
Hudson's Bay Company. Laymen as an everyday procedure consult with doctors
at the established hospital centers or direct with National Health headquarters.
Diagnosis is attempted from case histories and treatment prescribed as a
matter of daily routine. This modern auxiliary service is constantly proving
of real worth.
With the establishment of strategically placed signal stations and the
remarkable development of successful weather forecasting, aviation in
Arctic Canada has become the accepted mode of travel. With the recognition
of the importance of the Arctic to military continental defense there has
been a rapid development of arctic aviation. This has resulted in the
possibility of allowing the medical services to extend prompt aid both in
the [: ] transportation of skilled medical personnel and the transfer of patients
from remote areas to places where modern facilities for the treatment of

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Medicine in the Canadian Arctic

diseases and injuries are available. A new vista for the extension of
arctic medical service has been opened by the inventive genius and courage
of manking. We are on the threshold of a vastly improved opportunity to
take modern science to these primitive deserving people.
Department of National Health and Welfare, Canada
G. F. Davidson, Minister
(Prepared by H. W. Lewis, M.D.)

Family Allowances in Northern Canada

EA-Canada: General
Canada: Dept. of National Health & Welfare (G.F. Davidson, Minister)

FAMILY ALLOWANCES IN NORTHERN CANADA

The Canadian Family Allowances program performs an interesting and
important function in the far north of Canada, where considerable success
has attended the adaptation of this national welfare scheme to nomadic and
seminomadic aboriginal peoples living in sparsely settled areas where
extreme climate and great distances render normal communication difficult.
The Family Allowances Act, 1944, under which the program is adminis–
tered, was introduced for the purpose of equalizing opportunity for all the
children of Canada and provides for allowances to families in respect of
virtually all children under sixteen years of age who qualify under the
provisions of the Act governing maintenance, residence, and school attendance.
The allowances are paid out of the consolidated revenue fund of the Dominion,
are noncontributory, and involve no means test. The rates range from $5.00
a month for children under six years of age to $8.00 for those thirteen to
fifteen, with reduction of $1.00 for the fifth child, $2.00 for the sixth
and seventh, and $3.00 for each additional child. Payment is normally made
to the mother, though any person substantially maintaining the child is
eligible to receive the allowances on its behalf and, if parental misuse
is proved, the Director of Family Allowances may order that payment made
on behalf of the child to another person or agency.
Although 75 per cent of Canada's Indian population receive payment of
the allowances by cheque, in the same manner as the white population, a

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

payment in kind system has been adopted for the northern Indians and
Eskimos because of their nomadic life and the limited trading and banking
facilities available to them, and because of the benefits that can be
obtained by guiding the purchases of persons still unfamiliar with many
of the foods and other commodities that would be most useful to them.
There are several reasons why Family Allowances meet a special and
acute need in northern Canada.
The dependence of most of the native population on hunting, trapping,
and fishing, and, despite occasional high incomes during good times es–
pecially among the western Eskimos, the nearness to the subsistence level
at which they live, means that children are quickly and seriously affected
when game becomes scarce in any area, or during low periods in the fox
cycle when large areas of the north are affected. The situation of the
child in the far north is, in addition, rendered more precarious than in
other regions through the restriction imposed on a man's earning capacity
by conditions in the area in which he lives, which of course affect most
adversely the head of a family where the children are not yet of working
age. Climatic conditions and the difficulty of establishing any compre–
hensive welfare system comparable to what is available in the south add
to these difficulties so that any program which offers specific aid to
children is of major importance.
Another important consideration has been the increasing deterioration
in the diet of the native peoples. With the advance of the white man into
the north there has been a tendency for the Indian and Eskimo to adopt
the diet of trappers and traders more interested in easily portable foods
than in balanced nutritive values. Tea a [: ] d bannock had come to be used to
such an extent as seriously to unbalance the native diet. Milk was generally

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

used only as a flavor for tea, and powdered milk had never been used to any
great extent. Because of lack of opportunity to acquire a taste for such
nutritive foods as powdered milk and fruit juices, there had been no demand
for them and consequently they were not stocked by traders.
A primary object of the program has consequently been the direction of
additional purchasing power provided by the allowances to foods which are
most suitable to complement existing diets, and to articles specially adapted
to the welfare of the child.
Due to the different conditions under which the Indians and Eskimos
live, the method of administering Family Allowances to them has differed
and the different procedures are dealth with separately here.
Administration of Allowances to the Indian
The 793 Indian families and 2,052 Indian children in the Yukon and
Northwest Territories are scattered throughout the north, the largest con–
centrations being at Whitehorse and Carcross in the Yukon, and at Fort
Resolution, Fort Norman, Fort Simpson, Aklavik, Fort McPherson and Fort
Smith in the Northwest Territories.
Each Indian agent is responsible for the registration of eligible
Indian children in his area and payment of the allowances is the responei–
bility of the Regional Director for the area. The Indian mother indicates
the trader she wishes to patronize and the agent makes the necessary arrange–
ments with him. Traders are supplied with a list of articles (see Appendix A)
which may be purchased through the allowances, and their credit vouchers are
inspected by officials of the Indian Affairs Branch before being approved
for payment, so that a control is maintained over expenditure of allowance
money.

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

The educational aspects of the program have been particularly important
in the administration of the allowances to the Indian, who because of his
relative nearness to civilization, as compared to the Eskimo, has not only
been more adversely affected by unselective adoption of the white man's
diet, but can be more readily instructed in the adoption of its best features.
The combined list of food and clothing authorized for issue through Family
Allowances to the Indians, shown in Appendix A, is specially drawn up to
accomplish this purpose.
Through it the purchase of milk, fruit juices, pablum, Canada-approved
vitamin B flour, and other hitherto little used foods is encouraged. Intended
to combat deficiencies common to Indian children in the trapping and hunting
areas, as well among those living close to the trading post, the list of
foodstuffs was compiled on the advice of the Indian Health Services in
consultation with experts in the nutrition field. In the same way the
purchase of layettes, woollens, toothpaste and brushes, and other necessary
articles is encourages. Special provision is also made, through an emergency
list, for articles indirectly necessary to children, such as stoves, axes,
and cooking utensils, the purchase of which is approved only when essential
to the well-being of the family. However as Family Allowancess are intended
primarily for [: ] se of the child, ordinary staples of diet such as lard and
baking powder are not considered a proper charge against them and are
omitted from the list.
This system has had a profound and far-reaching influence by providing
encouragement for traders to stock these items formerly considered a poor
risk and by educating the Indian people, both young and old, in the use of
these foods and their proper preparation. The first results are already

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

evident in the greatly increased use of approved food and clothing and
through the cooperation which is being extended to this scheme by traders.
While it is still very early to evaluate the effect on the health of the
Indian children, an improvement has been noted by medical observers which
may be attributed at least in part to Family Allowances.
As the welfare of the child is inseparably tied to the prosperity
of the breadwinner, expenditure may also be made for the purchase of items
of hunting and trapping equipment wherever, in the Agent's discretion,
large accumulations of credit can be applied to furthering [: ]
the welfare of the family unit as a whole and therefore indirectly benefiting
the child. However, as regular an issue of the Family Allowances as circum–
stances permit has generally been encouraged and the accumulation of large
credits discouraged.
In contradiction to the Eskimo, the Indian does not constitute a
homogeneous unit and, while largely engaged in hunting and trapping, also
makes his living in many other ways. This variation in mode of life has
made necessary a flexible policy to accommodate the great variety of
conditions encountered. Particular difficulties have arisen through the
inevitable maladjustments resulting from application to individual cases
of a system adapted to the needs of the whole native population in the few
communities where whites, Indians, Eskimos, and breeds intermingle and are
engaged in a variety of occupations. An attempt is made to handle in a
manner as satisfactory to the individual as possible the rather difficult
problems that arise in such places, so long as the efficiency of the whole
scheme is not affected. The method of administration is not rigid nor
fial in form. As circumstances change and in the light of experience
gained procedures are modified or altered.

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

Administration of Allowances to the Eskimo
Three major considerations govern payment of Family Allowances to
the Eskimos. The first is the difficulty of transportation to and between
extremely remote posts and settlements, which in some cases have contact
with the outside world only once or twice a year. The second is the inad–
visability of allowing the Eskimo to become dependent to any great extent
on white man's food, which he can obtain only at irregular intervals. The
third is the close relationship between prosperity of the Eskimo and the
variations of the fox cycle on which it depends.
As these factors make it impossible for credit to be extended by
cheque, or for a payment-in-kind system identical with that adopted for
the northerin Indian, a flexible scheme for administering the allowances
in kind has been evolved, which is designed to assist parents to provide
a livelihood for their children under natural conditions, to supplement
the native diet by nutritive food essential to children, and to ensure
that credits are available when they are most needed.
The large majority of the 8,000 Eskimos in Canada, 1,207 of the 1,569
families and 3,009 of the 3,902 children registered for allowances, live
in the Eastern Arctic, including northern Quebec. The climate and the great
distances that must be covered often result in a lapse of many months before
payment commences or is received for a child, with the result that large
accumulations of credit are built up, which when an opportunity arises for
payment, must be expended in such a way as to last for long periods.
As the Eskimo is essentially a hunter and fisherman, and as the well–
being of his children depends almost entirely on his ability to find a
living within the limits of his own environment, the allowances may be

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

used in any way which helps him to carry on his work. Whaling boats and
hunting and fishing supplies are thus among the many articles which may be
purchased from Family Allowance credits. Study has indicated, however,
that small Eskimo children would benefit substanti c ally from the addition
to the normal native diet of the high nutritive values contained in
powdered milk and pablum. Special arrangements have therefore been made
for these foods (which have the great advantage of being easily and safely
stored under arctic conditions, by both the trader and by the native, when
more perishable articles such as b [: ] tter are liable to deterioration) to be
supplied so that they can be constantly used.
Credits can be made available only at irregular internals and are
generally extended as they are required. During high periods of the fox
cycle they may be allowed to accumulate for bad times, when they constitute
a special form of benefit for children over and above the assistance which
has been available in the past through the grubstake of the trader or
direct government relief.
Family Allowances to the Eskimos are administered through the agency
of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who exercise control over the amount
and variety of goods which may be received by any one family. In the far
north and particularly in the Eastern Arctic, these officers undertake
many administrative tasks as registration of vital statistics and completion
of Family Allowances application forms, in addition to law enforcement.
Their special knowledge of family circumstances and of the conditions in
any area enables them to give expert advice on expenditure of the allowances.
Evaluation of Family Allowances Program in Northern Canada
While the method of payment of Family Allowances to the Indian and
Eskimo has thus diverged from practice in other parts of Canada, it is felt

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

that a comprehensive basic welfare scheme has been adapted with consider–
able success to isolated and nomadic peoples, and that the major difficul–
ties encountered have been successfully overcome.
While apprehension was originally felt in some quarters as to the
effects of Family Allowances on the working habit of the Indian and Eskimo,
surveys have revealed that, except in isolated cases, there has been no
neglect of traplines or other work as a consequence of this additional
source of income. The contrary has rather been the rule. Correction of
diet deficiencies has on the whole increased the level of efficiency and
usefulness of the native family, as well as giving the children a fuller
and happier life.
Some idea of the value of the service which has bean performed may
be obtained by consideration of the amounts of credit extended from the
inception of the Family Allowance program to the end of 1947. In 1947
payment of allowances was made in respect of 7,081 children in the Yukon
and Northwest Territories, 2,052 of whom were Indian, 3,023 Eskimo, and
2,006 white. Since the Allowance began $332,366 has been paid on behalf
of Indian, $550,781 on behalf of Eskimo, and $244,763 on behalf of white
children. (Apparent larger sums paid to Indian and Eskimo families, as
compared to their actual numbers, are due to the policy of commencing
payment in respect of white children only after birth has been reported,
whereas payment is made in full retroactively for native children irres–
pective of date of registration.) Although a number of Eskimo families
in isolated regions had not yet been contacted, registration of all Indian
and white children was considered complete by 1947, and only new births
were being reported by that time.

EA-Canada: Genera. Davidson: Family Allowances

While methods are constantly being studied to improve administration
of the allowances to both Indians and Eskimos, it is felt that a flexible
and efficient scheme has been evolved which, as far as is possible, appears
to offer to the Indian and Eskimo children of the far north advantages
comparable to those enjoyed by other Canadian children under the Family
Allowances Program.

EA-Canada: General. Davidson: Family Allowances

APPENDIX A
Combined List of Food and Clothing Authorized for Issue under Family
Allowances to Indians of the Yukon and Northwest Territories .
Foods
(Specially selected to augment and supplement the Indian diet with foods
that will give Indian children proper nutrition).
Milk, fresh, evaporated, or dried
Canned tomatoes or tomato juice
Grapefruit juice
Rolled oats
Pablum - for children up to 8 years of age
Pork luncheon meat (Spork, Klick, Prem, etc.)
Dried prunes and apricots
Cheese
Butter, fresh or canned
Eggs, fresh
Eggs, Grade "A" dried in powdered form (Canadian products)
Green vegetables
Dehydrated vegetables
Flour, Canada-approved Vitamin B
Oranges
Peas and beans
Sugar, corn syrup, or molasses
Marmalade or jam
Fresh meat
Bread
Tinned soups
Clothing (for Indian children)
Layettes Flannelette and woolen material
Gum rubbers Woollen underwear (Fleece-lined must
Yarn not be supplied)
Thread Shirts
Needles Mitts
Boots and moccasins Soaps, laundry and toilet
Dress material Toothbrushes
Caps Toothpaste and tooth powder
Special List (An emergency list which is to be issued only on authorization of the Indian Agent to cover special circumstances)
Rifles or shotguns Canvas Saws
Canoes Camp stoves Traps and snare wire
Ammunition Axes Cooking utensils
Nets Files
Department of Health and National Welfare,
Canada

Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic and Sub arctic Canada

EA-Canada: General
(C. H. D. Clarke)

WILDLIFE PRESERVES AND SANCTUARIES IN ARCTIC AND SUBARCTIC CANADA

Native Game Preserves
Most of the area of Arctic Canada forms part of what is known as a Native
Game Preserve. To understand this term, which falls a little short of being
self-explanatory, it is necessary to understand the history of wildlife manage–
ment in the Northwest Territories, of which this preserve is a development.
The extermination of the bison on the prairies made a profound impression
on the public mind. The "Act for the preservation of game in the unorganized
portions of the North-west Territories of Canada," 1894, applying to the Atha–
baska, Mackenzie, and Keewatin areas, starts off by prohibiting the molestation
of bison — there were actually still bison to protect. It also takes notice
of the far northern species, and was adequate for all purposes until the North–
west Game Act was passed in 1917. During this time the century-old Hudson's
Bay Company management of the interior was broken by the Klondike gold rush,
Which resulted in the settling of white trappers (actually stranded prospectors)
in the North, and, of course, the separation of the Yukon Territory. The whal–
ing industry on both eastern and western arctic coasts also developed into organ–
ized fur trading, affecting such species of game as musk ox and caribou.
Information on the destruction of game that was accompanying the opening
of the North was responsible for the passing by the Canadian Parliament of the
Northwest Game Act of 1917. To a considerable extent it was the work of Dr. C.

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

Gordon Hewitt, author of The Conservation of the Wild Life of Canada and made
provision for full-scale wildlife management, as understood at that time, with
close season and licenses but containing no provision for sanctuaries.
The passage of the Act, which took a couple of years to become effective,
was well timed. Fur prices were rising and white trappers had reached remotest
areas. Coronation Gulf, where caribou migrated across the frozen straits into
the Canadian Arctic Islands, became open to competitive trading. Finally the
Norman oil rush and the Waterways boom took newcomers, all of whom were potential
trappers and traders, into the North. The oil rush led to the establishment, in
1922, of a Territorial Administration which took over the administration of the
Northwest Game Act, which had, for lack of a better authority, been vested orig–
inally in the Commissioner of Dominion Parks. Under his guidance the Act had
been amended in 1920 to provide for the creation of preserves. This was probably
originally meant to pave the way for the establishment of the Wood Buffalo Park.
The bearings and report of the Royal Commission on Reindeer and Musk ox
called forth a number of first-hand accounts of the depletion of game. It became
evident that the Coronation Gulf caribou herd was being destroyed. That there
were many separate herds of caribou or that early accounts of their numbers were
often exaggerated was not fully realized and there was some fear that the Barren
Ground species was menaced.
The depletion of musk oxen, some herds of caribou, beaver, marten, and lynx
recalls the fact familiar to readers of Mason's Bourgeois de la Compagnie du
Nord-Ouest , that beaver were depleted along the Mackenzie in the early years of
the last century. The biological resources of any arctic or suberctic area can
be exploited to the full only when there is an adequate fund of scientific infor–
mation. The increment of plants and animals is slow. Where knowledge is deficient

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

and there is a threat of depletion, the only way to maintain the resource is
to play safe. The responsible Canadian authorities were keenly conscious that
the natives of the territories were dependent upon game. They were also motivat–
ed by Canadian and outside interest in native welfare, and in the preservation
of wildlife. Under pressure, therefore, from missions, police, administrators,
and even traders who were protagonists of native welfare, in 1923 the "sanctuary"
proviso of the Northwest Game Act was used to establish by Order-in-Council,
241,800 square miles of preserves where only native Indians, Eskimos, and half–
breeds were allowed to hunt.
Despite hostile criticism, these preserves, which have become known as
native game preserves, must be considered a successful administrative expedient.
More area was added in 1926, 1938, 1942, and 1945.
Native game preserves do not exclude hunting by explorers and prospectors,
and the privilege [: ] of hunting for food and recreation, and trapping for
recreation, up to $100 worth of fur per annum, may be extended to residents,
but these privileges have been jealously guarded. Trapping by white trappers
is excluded except in more recently established preserves where it is allowed
to those already established.
The 241,800 square miles set aside in 1923 were made up of the following:
Back River Preserve 65,500 square miles
Victoria Island Preserve 74,400 square miles
Banks Island Preserve 26,400 square miles
Peel River Preserve 3,300 square miles
Slave River Preserve 2,200 square miles
Yellowknife Preserve 70,000 square miles
The settlement of Resolution has since been excluded from the Slave River

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wilflife Preserves and Senctuaries in Arctic Canada

Preserve. The Peel River Preserve has been brought up to 7,300 square miles
by the inclusion of an area in Yukon. In 1926, the Banks, Victoria, and Back
River preserves were merged with a much larger area to form the Arctic Islands
Preserve, including all the watershed of the arctic mainland, Melville and Boothia
peninsulas, the northwestern part of Baffin Island, and all the islands lying
to the north and west. This was enlarged again, in 1942, to include the islands:
Southampton, Coats, Nottingham, Salisbury, Resolution, Loks Land, and Bylot, and
the remainder of Baffin Island. In 1945, the mainland south to Chesterfield In–
let was included.
In 1938, another area, the Mackenzie Mountains, was added. The principal
fur animal here, the marten, had become depleted except in the most remote places
and these were threatened by trappers using aircraft. It should be noted that
in the years 1936-40, the use of aircraft to reach remote trapping grounds be–
came universal and was adopted even by some Indians.
The first series of preserves clearly had in mind the protection of caribou
and the preservation of particularly good trapping areas for the use of natives.
The Order of 1926, establishing the Arctic Islands Preserve and including within
the "native preserve" area the large uninhabited islands north of Lancaster and
Melville sounds may be said to have had, at least in part, a political motive.
To make an area a game preserve is an act of sovereignty and at the same time
an excuse for its being uninhabited. That it should be a native game preserve
might be interpreted as an expression of policy destining the biological re–
sources of these islands for the ultimate use of Eskimos, but it is open to
doubt that any policy of this nature was actually formulated at the time.
There are a number of trading posts in these preserves. The declared policy
of the administration has been to license posts inside preserves only where the

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wilflife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

welfare of the natives is advanced thereby.
Native game preserves have no wardens and are protected in part by the
readiness of natives to report intruders and by the fear on the part of the
white trappers of losing trapping privileges. The following are preserves as
they now stand (1947):
1. Yellowknife . Established September 22nd, 1923, 70,000 square miles.
This is one of the original preserves and has been the subject of some contro–
versy. Since its establishment it has become the seat of nearly all the pros–
pecting and mining activity in the Territories, and the one and only large town
in the Northwest Territories is in the preserve. White trappers have cast en–
vious eyes at these conveniently located grounds and have complained bitterly
that Indians were not staying on the preserve. There has, however, been no
effort to force an adjustment of Indian hunting ground to white settlement and
development. If an adjustment does take place on natural lines, there would
presumably be no difficulty in making the preserve conform.
The Yellowknife preserve is not rich in fur animals. It is largely sparse
boreal forest, verging on tundra, and the balance is open tundra. The northern
fringe is good white fox ground, but woodland species, marten, beaver, lynx,
mink, and muskrat are not as abundant as they are farther away from the tundra.
The east and west ends have substantial caribou migrations, but the center, where
mining operations are concentrated, seems never to have had many caribou. Moose
and black bear are generally distributed but scarce. There are a few Barren
Ground bears.
2. Slave River . Established September 22nd, 1923, 2,152 square miles (as
altered by the exclusion of the Resolution area); includes nearly all the good
muskrat area along the Slave River. It also has potentialities as a beaver and
marten area, but as yet they have not been realized. It contains moose, but in

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

numbers no greater than the surrounding country.
3. Peel River . Established September 22nd, 1923, 7,300 square miles;
is good ground for beaver and marten, with a normal quota of lynx, fox, mink,
and muskrat. It is also a good area for moose.
4. Mackenzie Mountains . Established May 3rd, 1938, 69,440 square miles,
is excellent marten and beaver country, well supplied with lynx, fox, muskrat,
and mink. It also contains the finest variety of big game in the Northwest
Territories, being well stocked with moose, Dall sheep, goat, caribou, and
grizzly bear.
5. Arctic Islands . Established July 19, 1926, 772,302 square miles, is
entirely tundra, with white fox as a basic fur species, and containing among
"land" game species the polar bear, musk ox, caribou, and Barren Ground bear,
in various portions. Parenthetically, it should be noted that marine mammals
in Canada are controlled by the Department of Fisheries and not by the Northwest
Territories Administration, and their exploitation is unaffected by preserves
established by the latter authority.
The extermination of the bands of caribou which used to migrate to Victoria
and King William islands was already accomplished when the preserve was establish–
ed and there is as yet no sign of the restoration of this migration. Musk oxen
have perhaps fared better in some areas outside preserves, as the west side of
Bathurst Inlet and the region north of Great Bear Lake, than they have in isolated
inhabited portions of the Arctic Islands Preserve, such as Boothia Peninsula and
Somerset and Prince of Wales islands. They are supposed to be equally protected
in all places, but thrive best either completely isolated from habitation as on
Melville Island, or close enough to it to be protected. As already stated, the
biological resources of much of the Arctic Islands Preserve are still untouched.

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

The future of the preserves is unpredictable. As wildlife management
based on biological investigations and sound knowledge becomes intensified, the
preserves may be molded to a new form. It has been argued for them that the
present generation of hunters is capable of reaping the entire wildlife crop
while gaining no more than a fair living thereby. Further, the natural increase
of the present hunting population should be capable of using the resources of
areas still unexploited and the increased production under management of those
presently exploited. This is obviously true but it requires little reflection
to see that it is just as true of the area outside the preserves as it is of the
preserves themselves. The present severe restriction on new hunting and trapping
licenses in the Northwest Territories recognizes this fact. Newcomers to the
new North should find new ways of making a living. The expression of this in
a management policy is by no means simple.
Some of the lands now included in the game preserves are of high tourist
interest and as accessibility increases their use for recreation may add a new
aspect to wildlife management. Some areas may be expected to develop as sanc–
tuaries, and others as tourist hunting grounds, both, of course, with due re–
gard to the welfare of the natives.
Beaver Preserves . Several islands in James Bay and the Mackenzie Delta
have been established as beaver preserves. This is simply an expedient whereby
beaver in depleted areas are given special protection until such time as they
are sufficiently numerous to be trapped again. In the case of the islands in
James Bay restocking has also been done by the Hudson's Bay Company.
Such preserves are of quite a different order from the native game preserves
and should not be confused with them.

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

Game Sanctuaries in Canada
The first animal to reap the benefit of public solicitude for nature pre–
servation in Canada was the bison. The bison was probably in mind when pro–
vision for the creation of sanctuaries was made in the Northwest Game Act. The
ultimate result was the Wood Buffalo Park. This area is neither arctic nor
subarctic and lies largely in the Province of Alberta, so that we are concerned
with it here only as an antecedent for other preserves.
The most important of these, the Thelon Game Sanctuary (established June
5th, 1927, 15,000 square miles), lies in the heart of the tundra west of Hudson
Bay, and was created primarily for the benefit of the musk ox. It is one of
the most inaccessible areas in Canada, except by air, and large portions of it
were originally not permanently inhabited either by Indians or Eskimos.
The musk ox lived comparatively unmolested in its tundra fastnesses until
the commercial extinction of the bison on the western plains, about 1880. It
was then found that musk ox robes could be marketed in large quantities at the
top prices brought by bison skins during the years when the public knew that
they would soon be unavailable. Musk ox robes immediately became the prime ob–
jects of trade of the Hudson's Bay Company and of the Hudson Bay and Western
Arctic whalers. The principal posts were Churchill, Brochet, Resolution, Rae,
Good Hope, and McPherson for the Hudson's Bay Company, and Herschel and Marble
islands for the whalers. A whole generation of Indians on Great Slave Lake took
other furs only as incidentals. This continued until 1916, after which it was
stopped by law — a little too late, for this time there was only a remnant of
musk oxen left on the mainland and the more southern islands. At one stage,
during the first 10 years after protection, it became doubtful if there were
any left at all. Then, in 1925, John Hornby and Captain J. C. Critchell-Bullock

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

crossed the tundra from Great Slave Lake to Hudson Bay by the Thelon route,
unused since the ill-fated Radford and Street expedition, and found that the
musk ox was still holding out in this isolated spot. This information was
conveyed at once to the Canadian authorities. The ease with which the Thelon
area could be protected, the fact that the exclusion of hunting did not affect
the natives, and the general suitability of the region for the preservation
of the tundra fauna led to its establishment, in 1927, as the Thelon Game Sanc–
tuary. The regulations which forbid all hunting,entry, and even flying over
the preserve without special authority make it one of the few places in the
world that will qualify for what ecologists call a "strict wilderness preserve."
Subsequent investigations have confirmed the usefulness of the area as a
musk ox preserve, and also demonstrated other advantages. It has no gaps in
the tundra fauna except possibly for a migratory bird, the Eskimo curlew. Al–
most as interesting as the musk oxen are the Barren Ground grizzlies. The cari–
bou are absent in winter from the central portion. The discovery of this fact
without previous warning cost Hornby and two companions their lives when they
attempted to winter on the Thelon River in 1926-27. The musk oxen are concen–
trated along the river in summer, but are widely dispersed in winter. There is
no doubt but that the Thelon puts on an unexcelled wildlife show in summer. The
permanence of this show is threatened by the menace of forest fire to the winter
range of the largest herd of caribou, which leaves the Thelon in late summer
and goes as far as Lake Athabaska. The rolling tundra country is especially
charming to the eye, and lakes and rivers are well stocked with fish.
One of the peculiarities of the Thelon is the occurrence of clumps of trees
in its valley, remote from all other tree growth. As a vegetational element
the area they cover is insignificant but they have been of great importance to

EA-Canada: General. Clarke: Wildlife Preserves and Sanctuaries in Arctic Canada

native and white travelers. Eskimos from Bathurst Inlet used to visit the river
to get wood and on its lower reaches met the inland natives from the Keewatin
area who cold trade goods from Churchill. The trees grow in sheltered loca–
tions on sandy soil produced from the level strata of Athabaska sandstone lining
the banks of the main river. This unusual geological formation also means that
the sanctuary is of no interest to prospectors.
The number of musk oxen was estimated at 250 in 1930 and 300 in 1937. Their
increase and movements are poorly known. It may well be that the increase of the
herds finds its way to vacant range near the periphery of the sanctuary, where
an increase in musk oxen is known to have occurred. In midsummer the animals
are often in dense willow thickets where they escape observation both from the
air and the ground.
The Thelon Sanctuary is well established as a preserve. It may be doubted,
however, if permanent exclusion of the public can be maintained. There would
seem to be more reason for expecting it to develop along the lines of a national
park.
There remains only one other sanctuary, namely, Twin Islands in James Bay
(55 square /miles, established May 2nd, 1939). It may be an anticlimax to include this
area in the same category as the magnificent Thelon Sanctuary but it is not with–
out its attractions. It was established to protect the polar bears that haul
out there in summer, and present evidence indicates that it has filled this need
very well.
C. H. D. Clarke

Aerial Photography in Northern Canada

EA:Canada, General. Finnie, Aerial Photography

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN NORTHERN CANADA

The development of aerial cartographical photography in northern
Canada was largely the work of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which was
formed in 1924. It was in 1927-28 that the R.C.A.F. gained its first
subarctic experience, when, with Fokker monoplanes on skis and pontoons,
it cooperated with the Department of Marine and Fisheries in an expedition
to secure data on ice movements in Hudson Strait. During that expedition
no mapping photographs were made, although a civilian photographer went
aloft repeatedly with the R.C.A.F. pilots to make still and motion [: ]
pictures to illustrate ice conditions. It was in 1930 that R.C.A.F. planes flew
beyond the 60th parallel of latitude for the first time for the express
purpose of mapping. During ensuing years, besides covering most of southern
Canada, the R.C.A.F. carried its mapping operations from the Yukon to
Labrador. Its long-range program was well launched of systematically
mapping the whole of Canada, and, working in concert with civilian agencies
of the Government, it had set a standard of accuracy unsurpassed anywhere
else in the world.
The pioneer aerial mapping expedition in northern Canada was headed
by F. J. Mawdesley, with Harry winny second in command. They flow an open
cockpit Vickers Vedette and a Fairchild cabin monoplane, each equipped
with a Fairchild camera. In those days flight altitudes were commonly two
to five thousand feet, and to cover as much ground at a time as possible
oblique photography was used. At best, it was only moderately accurate.

EA:Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

Accompanied by Colin MacDonald, a Dominion Land Surveyor, Mawdesley and
Winny flew down the Slave River, across Great Slave Lake to the North Arm,
and thence to Great Bear Lake, the Coppermine River and Coronation Gulf.
They also flew via the Great Bear River to the Mackenzie and as far as
Aklavik, at the Delta. In all, they traversed 12,000 miles through the
Mackenzie District.
That fall the first mapping photographs north of the Canadian main–
land were taken, though not by the R.C.A.F. An aerial expedition led by
L. T. Burwash, of which the writer was a member, was dispatched by the
Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch of the Department of the Interior
to seek traces of the Sir John Franklin expedition. The itinerary was from
Coppermine, Coronation Gulf, via Bernard Harbor and the south coast of
Victoria Island, to Gjoa Haven on the south coast of King William Island,
thence to Cape Adelaide, Boothia Peninsula (the then approximate location
of the North Magnetic Pole), across James Ross Strait to Cape Felix — the
northernmost tip of King William Island — and along the western and southern
coast line back to Gjoa Haven.
With a Fairchild camera, Burwash made a continuous series of
oblique photographs of the coast lines followed on this series of flights.
The plane was a single-engine Fokker monoplane on floats. The pilot was
Walter E. Gilbert, and the mechanic — who assisted with the mapping camera —
was Stanley Knight. A motion-picture record of the expedition was made by
the writer, shooting from the air as well as on the ground.
Because mainland areas had higher priority, the Arctic Islands were
not visited by R.C.A.F. planes for mapping purposes up to 1947. From 1930
onward until the outbreak of World War II, the R.C.A.F. concentrated its

EA: Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

northerly photographic flights mainly in the Mackenzie District, where
detailed maps were needed to aid prospectors in locating mineral deposits.
In 1933 the importance of aerial cartographic surveys was recognized
with the formation of an Interdepartmental Committee on Air Surveys, to
receive and coordinate requests for air photography from Federal Government
departments and branches, including the Geological Survey, Lands and Forests,
Public works, and the Hydrographic Survey. Air photographs were required
for: (1) preparation of air navigation charts for planning, pilotage, and
plotting; (2) preparation of maps of a military character for defense purposes;
(3) preparation of hydrographic charts of coastal and inland waters; (4) pre–
paration of topographic maps, essential for natural-resources surveys; (5)
preparation of geological maps, needed for mineral prospecting and develop–
ment; (6) preparation of forest inventories, aiding in the management and
conservation of timbered areas; (7) surveys for [: ] watershed protection,
development of river systems, irrigation, and flood prevention; (8) the
classification of land and vegetation, marshland reclamation, and soil–
erosion control; (9) wildlife surveys, fur conservation, and preservation
of reindeer and buffalo herds; (1) regional, town, and community planning
surveys; (11) the location of airports and roads; (12) surveys to locate
forests, lakes, and streams, trails and portages, and sites for camps and
lodges for tourist use.
The R.C.A.F. suspended its photographic operations in the North upon
the outbreak of World War II. Coincident with the U. S. War Department's
construction of the Alaska Highway and other projects, the U. S. Army Air
Forces entered northern Canada and quickly mapped many areas in which ground
operations were being carried on. Though adequate for the purposes for which

EA: Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

it was intended, the coverage of the U.S.A.A.F. lacked the precision
required to meet the standards of the Canadian Department of Mines and
Resources, Topographical Survey Branch, for map-making. Some of this photo–
graphy was of the Alaska Highway route, some of it was of oil-bearing areas
of the Mackenzie Basin. There was one curious gap. Because of the shortage
of aircraft in the summer of 1942, the location engineers of the Canol Project
were obliged to determine much of the 600-mile road and pipeline route from
Norman Wells to Whitehorse by means of ground traverses and flights in small
planes. One of the key passes in the Canol route was picked out by reference
to photographs made by the writer with a ministure camera on the first of the
reconnaissance flights. Eventually a complete photographic strip map was
made of the entire route, but not until after the road and pipeline had been
completed.
In the summer of 1944 the R.C.A.F. reentered the North, and in one
day's flying photographed 125,000 square miles of the Mackenzie Delta. This
was made possible by the vast improvements in aircraft and aerial cameras
brought about during the war years. Long since obsolete, except for very
limited use, were the oblique cameras of the pioneer days; now vertical
and tri-camera photography was carried on in long-range aircraft such as
Mitchells and Lancasters flying at elevations of around 20,000 feet,
covering 3,200 to 3,500 square miles an hour, and with cameras carrying
500 exposures at a loading as against the former 200.
The increased speed as well as accuracy with which modern equipment
enables air crews to photograph enormous areas is a special asset in the Far
North, where operations are usually limited to two months, from the beginning
of July to the end of August, because of light and weather conditions. In
bush areas photography is often delayed by smoke from [: ] muskeg fires.

EA: Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

During the summer of 1947 no less than 22 R.C.A.F. planes were
making hundreds of routine daily flights, largely in the Subarctic, taking
photographs for mapping purposes in the largest program of its kind ever
undertaken in Canada.
The entire mainland of Canada is to be photographed, and ultimately
all the Arctic Islands as well. The R.C.A.F. expects to undertake annually
300,000 square miles of tri-camera and 250,000 square miles of vertical
photography, varying with the personnel and equipment available and, of
course, the weather. In the summer of 1947, fourteen geodesists of the
Geodetic Survey began establishing control points at 50-mile intervals along
the Arctic coast between Aklavik and Cambridge Bay, and it was anticipated
that another summer's work there would complete all necessary control points
on the Canadian mainland.
The cameras carried for tri-camera operations are calibrated by
the National Research Council to a high degree of accuracy, and once fixed
in the nose of an airplane they are not moved again without being re-calibrated.
Concurrently they make exposures of left oblique, center vertical, and right
oblique. They are used in the production of air navigation charts on a
scale of either 8 or 16 miles to the inch. Shoran, an electronic device,
is under development for geodetic control, with beacon stations placed at
approximately 200-mile intervals across the areas to be photographed. A
16-mm. motion-picture camera, synchronized with the three mapping cameras,
exposes one frame at a time of the shoran dial with each set of mapping
pictures, thus recording the precise position.
The R.C.A.F. has pioneered in Canada in the use of the Fairchild
solar navigator, a clockwork instrument which sights on the sun and keeps

EA: Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

the aircraft on an absolutely straight course by a pilot indicator on the
instrument panel for distances up to 300 miles. First used by the R.C.A.F.
in 1944, this was installed in all R.C.A.F. Dakotas for vertical photography
by 1947. A new altimeter adopted by the R.C.A.F. is accurate to within 25
feet. Cameras used at high altitudes are heated automatically to proper
temperatures, thus preventing film from becoming brittle.
Not all of the aerial photography in the North is done by the R.C.A.F.
Some has been done by Canadian Pacific Airlines and its predecessor, Canadian
Airways Limited, and smaller operators. The photography undertaken by such
commercial concerns has been for the most part oblique (in former years) and
vertical. The latter is valuable for large-scale maps of mining or industrial
areas, from elevations of between ten and twelve thousand feet. Such photo–
graphy was used for a railway survey in Labrador.
Tri-camera photography is carried on by the R.C.A.F. in converted
Mitchell bombers. A Mitchell detachment includes the pilot, co-pilot, navi–
gator, camera operator, wireless operator, wireless mechanic, electrical
mechanic, instrument mechanic, aero-engine mechanics, air-frame mechanics,
chef, and general-duties airmen — about thirty men in all. In remote areas
where communication facilities are poor, the R.C.A.F. puts in portable wire–
less stations to receive forecasts [: ] twice daily from a meteorological fore–
casting center. There are three main centers: at Edmonton, Winnipeg, and
Rockcliffe (Ottawa), each providing forecasts for areas where photographic
operations are being carried on.
Gasoline and oil are shipped by rail and water to points nearest
operational bases, then flown the balance of the way. For aircraft operating
between Edmonton and Whitehorse, ta [: o ] n k-truck service over the Alaska Highway
is used.

EA: Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

Film for northern photography is stored in refrigerated vaults at
the Rockcliffe base near Ottawa and expressed as required by rail and air.
Deterioration is thereby avoided. As soon as it has been exposed the film
is immediately returned to the Rockcliffe laboratory, where it is processed
by a thermostatically controlled machine which originated in England but was
perfected in Canada. The quality of all negatives is studied, and any varia–
tion is referred to the manufacturer so that improvements may be made.
By January 1941, after chart coverage of the Gulf of St. Lawrence
and the eastern seaboard had been made — besides more southerly areas
across Canada — the R.C.A.F. and the Legal Survey and Map Service of the
Department of Mines and Resources went to work on the Pacific coast and the
Northwest Staging Route. After Pearl Harbor, the U. S. War Department sought
to develop airways in northern Canada for the servicing of engineering pro–
jects, for aircraft [: ] ferrying and defense purposes. With the erection of
additional meteorological stations and loran-radar stations in northern areas,
it was decided that the whole of Canada, including the Arctic Islands, should
be covered by the Canadian Air Navigation Series.
All the available and relevant mapping data of Canada have been
gathered into the eight-mile-to-one-inch sheets of the National Topographic
[: ] Series. Its primary function is for air navigation and in the study
and development of new air routes, but it also forms a base on which to plan
and add future detailed mapping; an index base on which to tabulate, study,
and plan the development of natural resources; a base on which to plan large
engineering and development projects. It has great elasticity in that it is
a systematic series of map sheets, each sheet fitting into its neighbor on
all sides, with all sheets drawn to the same scale and [: ] specifications.

EA: Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

A vast amount of work remains to be done, however, for over large areas of
northern Canada there is still a great lack of basic mapping material, in
consequence of which some of the charts cannot be classified as even reason–
ably adequate for air pilotage. The first step is to fill in the topography
in the blank spaces in enough detail to provide suitable air pilotage charts
at the eight-mile-to-one-inch scale, and the next step will be to establish
elevations above sea level over the whole area in sufficient density and
accuracy to provide the information necessary for safe flying.
The R.C.A.F. and the Department of Mines and Resources are cooperating
to accomplish both objectives. The R.C.A.F. is securing the planimetry
required by trimetrogen air photography, while the Legal Surveys and Map
Service is conducting experiments in the measur e ing of terrain elevations
by one of the new instruments developed during the war.
Of equal importance is the production of pilotage charts over a
large portion of Canada at a scale of 16 miles to one inch, within the
National Topographic Series, to meet the needs of long-range, high-speed
airplanes.
Base maps, essential for geological development, are prepared by
the Topographical Survey Division, Department of Mines and Resources. With
the horizontal and vertical control that can be applied to aerial photographs,
more accurate maps can be rapidly reproduced; and whereas the early geologists
were largely confined in their investigations to the water routes, those of
the present day have unlimited scope, thanks to aircraft. Nearly 89 per cent
of Canada still remains to be adequately mapped geologically — a task which
would take 200 years by former methods. But with base maps on a scale of four
or eight inches to a mile, made available by serial photography, sixty

EA: Canada, General
Finnie, Aerial Photography

geologists would be able to fill in the gaps within 25 years.
Besides its role in mapping, the aerial camera has become invaluable
for making inventories of forests in the North as elsewhere. Unproductive
areas can be readily eliminated through examination of air photographs. To
gauge the size of timber as shown in oblique photographs, a tree-height grid
was devised by the Dominion Forest Service; and for vertical photographs, a
time-shadow curve is plotted from calculation of the sun's elevation at any
given hour, revealing the average height of a stand of timber. Aerial photo–
graphy aids also in the classification of land, so that potential agricultural
or stock-raising lands in the North may be made available for use. The photo–
graphs show the extent of arable lands, topography, soil textures, etc.
Still another important use of aerial photographs has been in supply–
ing information on water-power sites in the Northwest Territories. The fall
and drainage areas of some of the principal rivers have thus been determined,
and photographs will show where diversions can be made to produce maximum
heads of water. In 1937 an aerial photographic survey was made of the
Yellowknife River, following which a dam was built at a location twenty miles
north of the settlement, and early in 1941 hydroelectric power was being
delivered to the local gold mines.
The high degree of efficiency achieved in aerial photography, as well
as in aviation itself, has immeasurably hastened the opening up of all northern
Canada to economic development; it has benefitted the trapper, the reindeer
herdsman, the farmer, the aviator, the prospector, and the minor; it will
assist in the building of new settlements, and in the operation of new inter–
national transpolar airways.
Richard Finnie

Northern Photography

EA- Canada: General
(Richard Finnie)

NORTHERN PHOTOGRAPHY

Though photography was coming into common use as early as the Civil War,
the equipment it entailed was ponderous, complicated, and uncertain, and not
until the 1880's did explorers begin to include cameras with their scientific
instruments. Hitherto the visual records of expeditions had been supplied by
artists, both amateur and professional; British and American arctic expeditions
of the 19th century were well covered with drawings, paintings, and engravings,
which conveyed an almost uniformly somber and melancholy impression of the country.
Probably the first explorers to carry cameras into the Canadian Subarctic
were Dr. Robert Bell, of the Geological Survey at Ottawa, and W. W. Fox, of
Toronto. Both were members of a Government expedition to Hudson Bay on board
the steamer Neptune in 1884. Fox volunteered as official photographer, and dur–
ing the voyage he and Bell took large numbers of pictures of the coastal scenery.
William Ogilvie, the surveyor, made photographic records in the Yukon Territory
and the Mackenzie District on his earliest exploratory journey in 1887. In 1897
the first photographs of Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay to appear in a Government
report were made by members of the Diana expedition. With the start of the Klon–
dike gold rush that same year, photographers entered the Yukon in fair numbers;
and beginning with the famous views of the unbroken line of adventurers packing
their belongings over the Chilkoot Pass, the whole story of the trek to Dawson
and the search for gold was recorded in detail.
The first commercial photographer to venture north of the Arctic Circle in

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

Canada was C. W. Mathers, Edmonton, who in 1902 published an album of Mackenzie
River pictures, some of which showed Eskimos of the Delta in their kayaks. Prob–
ably the first official photographer to accompany a Canadian Government arctic
expedition was G. F. Caldwell, a member of the scientific staff aboard the Nep-
tune , sailing to Hudson Bay, Baffin and Ellesmere islands, and as far westward
as Beechey Island, in 1903-04. Caldwell made many excellent studies of Eskimos,
action shots of the crew's activities, as well as land-and-seascapes, which were
reproduced in The Cruise of the Neptune , the report of A. P. Low, the commander.
From then onward, expeditions large and small were equipped with cameras;
and the published results varied with the skill of the photographers and of the
engravers. The photographs illustrating Bernier's Cruise of the Arctic , the
report of the Government expedition wintering at Melville Island, 1908-09, were
poor, and by way of contrast the photographs illustrating George M. Douglas'
Lands Forlorn , the account of his expedition to the Coppermine River in 1911-12,
were superb.
The pioneer motion-picture photographers of the Canadian Arctic were G.H.
(later Sir Hubert) Wilkins and Robert J. Flaherty. In a sense, Wilkins had the
edge because his pioneering was done north of the Arctic Circle, while Flaherty's
was done south of it — in Southern Baffin Island and Hudson Bay — but under
conditions equally arctic.
Wilkins joined Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-18 as an
employee of the Gaumont Company of Great Britain, to become the official photo–
grapher. However, the loss of three motion-picture cameras with the ill-fated
Karluk curtailed the cinematography he was able to do. The only available sub–
stitute camera was an old one obtained from a ship that had been wrecked along
the Alaskan coast. The camera was an inferior one and the film supply was limited

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

and of poor quality. This handicap notwithstanding, Wilkins exposed his film
to best possible advantage on ethnological subjects in Dolphin and Union Strait.
He carried on with a still camera, and many of his photographs, along with those
taken by Stefansson and other members of the expedition, appear in The Friendly
Arctic . In 1916 he left the North to join the Australian forces as a war photo–
grapher.
Flaherty had setbacks too, but he was eventually able to complete his epic,
:Nanook of the North." He had first gone north in 1910-11 and 1911-12 to pros–
pect for iron deposits along the east coast of Hudson Bay and across the Ungava
Peninsula. On his third expedition, in 1913, he set fail from Newfoundland in
the schooner Laddie with all the necessary apparatus for making a motion-picture
film of the Eskimos. The season was late, so instead of proceeding into Hudson
Bay to spend the winter as he had planned, he established his headquarters at
Amadjusk Bay on the south coast of Baffin Island, and sent his vessel home. He
selected a site near a stream so as to have fresh water for developing film all
through the winter. (This is noteworthy, for few modern cameramen would attempt
to process motion-picture film — except short test strips — away from a city
laboratory; and Flaherty may well be the only one to have done so in the North.)
Until February he exposed no film, for there were long sledge trips he
wanted to make east and west along the coast. Then he began his shooting schedule.
The Eskimo women vied with one another to be starred. Igloo building, conjuring
fances, sledging and seal hunting were run off as the sunlit days of February and
March wore on. Only occasionally was he troubled by temperamental outbursts from
members of his cast. One young mother walked away from a scene because she thought
Flaherty had been giving more candy to her rival's baby than to hers. On the 11th
of June he set out by dog team with an Eskimo on a trip to the interior in hope

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

of filming caribou. Coming upon a grazing herd he set up his camera and tripod
on his sledge while his Eskimo drove the dogs forward. The desired shots were
obtained, but on the way back to the base the sledge broke through the rotten
ice of a stream and they were ruined. Flaherty returned with the results of
his winter's work to southern Canada, where the film was edited. He was dis–
satisfied with it, however, and decided to attempt a better one the following
season.
His next location was the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay, which he explored,
and during the winter of 1914-15 he worked at remaking and building up the Baffin
Island film. In June came a rare opportunity to photograph the harpooning of
a walrus by an Eskimo; it was successfully done and promised to be a highlight
in the story. That winter, hack in civilization, while Flaherty was editing
his film he dropped a cigarette into it and the last inch of it went up in smoke.
In his book My Eskimo Friends (Doubleday, Page & Company, New York, 1924),
Flaherty relates how he could not forget the film; he decided to go north again,
this time wholly for the purpose of picturing Eskimo life (hitherto exploration
and prospecting had been his chief interests). With the financial backing of
John Revillon and Captain Thierry Mallet of Revillon Fre [: ] res he selected one of
their fur-trading posts as his headquarters. This was at Cape Dufferin, about
midway up the east coast of Hudson Bay, where he arrived in August 1920.
He selected a dozen local Eskimos to comprise his cast, headed by a hunter
named Nanook. The first scenes Flaherty shot were of a walrus hunt. Three days
later he screened them for his actors and their friends, whose excitement was
intense. During the winter Nanook constructed a snowhouse 25 feet in diameter —
twice the normal size — and cut away part of the dome to afford sufficient light
for the filming of interior scenes.

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

Flaherty used Akeley motion-picture cameras and a Graflex still camera.
In cold weather, when brought indoors, they were taken apart and dried after
the frost had come out of the metal parts. He had no difficulty with the movie
cameras, which were simply constructed, but his Fraflex was so complicated that
once he had dismantled it he couldn't get it together again. One of the Eskimos
came to his rescue, soon succeeding where he had failed. Flaherty found that
his film became so brittle at a temperature of −37° F. that it broke in the cam–
era. When traveling he overcame this handicap by keeping his film magazines
buried in caribou skins until he was ready to use them.
"Nanook of the North," released in 1922, was an instantaneous success and
shown throughout the world. Possessing great artistic merit, it became a mile–
stone in cinema history, the first of the so-called "documentaries."
In the summer of 1920 the Northwest Territories' first travelogue, called
"Down North," was being made. J. Booth Scott, an enterprising young photographer,
sailed down the Mackenzie River and took movies as far north as Fort McPherson.
Two summers later a professional newsreel cameraman, George H. Valiquette, ac–
companied the first of the annual Eastern Arctic expeditions of the Canadian
Government, on board the C. G. S. Arctic. He again sailed on the Arctic in 1923
and in 1925. In 1927-28 he was the official photographer of the Hudson Strait
Expedition of the Department of Marine and Fisheries.
In the summer of 1923 Knud Rasmussen, in the midst of his famous journey
across Arctic America, was joined at Coronation Gulf by Leo Hansen, who had
been summoned from Denmark to make a film record of the third and final winter
of the Fifth Thule Expedition. (About 13 years later, shortly before his death,
Rasmussen wrote, directed, and produced for theatrical release a film of Eskimo
life called "The Wedding of Palo," enacted at Angmagssalik, East Greenland.)

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

In 1924 motion-picture equipment was taken into the Thelon Game Sanctuary
east of Great Slave Lake, by James C. Critchell-Bullock and John Hornby, who
followed the Hanbury and Thelon rivers to Baker Lake, spending a year on the
way. Neither was a skilled photographer and the chief interest of the film
they brought back lay in close-ups it included of Hornby, who was fated to die
of starvation in 1927 in the same setting.
The Putnam Baffin Island Expedition, which in the summer of 1927 explored
Foxe Basin, was filmed by Maurice Kellerman. Among the highlights was the rop–
ing of a swimming polar bear.
It was in 1928 that I gained my first practical experience as a motion–
picture photographer and producer, at the same time introducing a technique
new to the North in recording unposed events. Hitherto movie cameras in pro–
fessional use were heavy and bulky and had to be mounted on massive tripods so
that they would remain steady while being hand-cranked. Their mobility was so
restricted that only by sheer good luck could the operator ever catch any un–
anticipated, sudden happening. I was provided with an Eyemo 35 mm. camera,
which was compact and driven by a clockwork motor. It could be placed on a
light tripod for scenic and telephoto work or it could be hand-held for quick
action. The professionals of the day were suspicious of it, reluctant to be–
lieve that anything so simple could be efficient. As a novice I was grateful
for its ease of operation, and it enabled me to gratify an urge to film actual–
ities, avoiding as much as possible staged scenes. (I continued to use the Eyemo
in future years, and this type of camera became standard for expeditions.)
It was as historian of the Canadian Government's Eastern Arctic Expeditions
of 1928 and 1929 that I made the official motion-picture records of the voyages
of the chartered sealer Beothic , in those years, when R. C. M. P. outposts were

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

reprovisioned, the welfare of the Eskimos was attended to, and scientific sur–
veys were made. The mobility of my equipment enabled me to secure many shots
of natives and of animals, including some of the first close-ups ever taken of
musk oxen in the wild state. This was at Cape Sparbo, Devon Island, which the
Beothic visited on both voyages.
In the summer of 1930 I sailed down the Mackenzie River on the first leg
of a journey eastward along the arctic coast, where I was to spend the ensuing
year as a special investigator for the Department of the Interior. That fall
I filmed the first flight ever made to the area of the North Magnetic Pole,
then proceeded to Coronation Gulf for the winter. Based at the settlement of
Copperaine, I filmed the winter activities of the Copper Eskimos, including their
dances.
This was was the first time that spring-driven portable cameras had been
used in the Arctic in winter. The springs, packed in graphite, were not affected
by the cold, but the other moving parts lubricated with oil became sluggish. I
discovered that kerosene instead of the usual oil ensured successful operation
at the lowest temperature experienced that season, which was −55° F. I made a
practice of keeping my cameras out of doors, bringing them in only for checkups
and cleanings. By letting them warm up gradually in their cases I was usually
able to avoid excessive sweating of the metal and the fogging of lenses. (Such
wrinkles were to be "discovered" again and again by photographers in years to
come.) When it was necessary to change film out of doors, I would try to find
a sheltered place, then work barehanded regardless of temperature — not only
because my caribou mitts were too bulky to be worn during the operation but also
because hair would drop from them into the camera and clog it. My finger tips
were often frostbitten from contact with the chilled metal. Silk gloves for

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

film-changing would have avoided some of the discomfort, but I had none.
Although the history of serial photography in northern Canada is beyond
the scope of this article, it can be mentioned that in the summer of 1930 the
Royal Canadian Air Force sent aircraft into the Mackenzie District to take map–
ping photographs, thus initiating a long-range program for the Northwest Terri–
tories and Yukon. That fall, on our Magnetic Pole flight in a chartered airplane,
we made the first aerial oblique photographs north of the Canadian mainland,
charting hundreds of miles of the coast lines of Victoria and King William
islands.
During the 1930's photography flourished in the Canadian Arctic and Subarctic.
Pictures were made there by explorers, traders, trappers, Mounties, missionaries,
mining men, tourists, and Eskimos. Fred Wolki, a half-breed Eskimo, returned
to Aklavik in 1939 after a year's trip to California. He brought back with him
movies he had taken on his southern travels to show to his companions. He had
movies also of polar bear, seal, and caribou hunts on Banks Island. In general,
however, amateur efforts in the North as elsewhere were not of professional quality.
Lorene Squire, specializing in bird pictures, visited both the Eastern and
Western Arctic. Equipped with telephoto lenses she made a series of action still
pictures of various kinds of ducks and geese. Another woman photographer, Mar–
garet Bourke-White, went down the Mackenzie to the Delta in 1938 on a paddlewheel
steamer, then flew back, making side trips to Coronation Gulf and Victoria Island.
In 1934 I returned to the Mackenzie District to film the mining development
at Great Bear Lake and the transportation chain by water and air, which was bring–
ing supplies to the Eldorado Mine and car ying silver and pitchblende concentrates
to railhead. After another interlude in the Eastern Arctic in 1937, when I record–
ed the first commercial tying-in of the Northwest Passage, I went back to the

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

Mackenzie District in 1939 to make another film on exploration and mining de–
velopment, with discoveries of oil, pitchblende, and gold, and the spectacular
rise of the town of Yellowknife. On this expedition I spent a fortnight at
Fort Rae, on the North Arm of Great Slave Lake, filming events attending the
annual paying of treaty money to the Dogrib Indians, which included their camp
life, church-going and treaty ceremony, tea dances, and drum games.
In 1934 and 1935 Harry Snyder, a Montreal mining executive and sportsman,
chartered aircraft and flew up the Nahanni River among the Mackenzie Mountains,
and eastward from Fort Reliance over the Barren Lands, making pictures of his
travels. Two years later he resolved to film a caribou hunt. He had a sled
lashed to the undercarriage of his airplane, loaded a dog team into the cabin,
and with a native guide flew to the Barren Lands east of Great Slave Lake. The
pilot scouted around until he spotted a herd of caribou. He dived close to the
herd, which stampeded, while pictures were taken. Then he landed. The dogs
were hitched to the sled (this was in the early spring while snow was still on
the ground), and the guide, accompanied by a cameraman, caught up with the herd,
killed and skinned a deer and carried the carcass back to the plane.
Photoelectric-cell light meters became available for still and motion-pic–
ture photography in the mid-thirties, and these, together with the increasing
sensitivity and stabilization of film emulsions, were a boon in the Far North
even more than in the Temperate Zone. Close to and beyond the Arctic Circle,
where pictures could be taken the clock around in summer, it had always been
difficult to gauge exposures correctly, for actinic values were deceptive; and
this applied also to winter photography when the sun lay close to the horizon.
The new light meters, and types of film for all conditions, at once assured uni–
formly satisfactory results to expert photographers. An additional asset was

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

16 mm. Kodachrome film; put on the market in 1935 and steadily improved, it
made possible for the first time the recording of the actual colors of the
North, revealing to outsiders hitherto unbelievable tones in cloud formations,
the midnight sun, water, ice and snow, and the variegated landscape.
In 1941 came the first military activity of World War II in the Canadian
Arctic and Subarctic; airfields were being staked out and pioneered in Hudson
Bay and Baffin Island; freight was moved to key airports being built between
Dawson Creek and Whitehorse. Motion-picture cameras recorded the latter opera–
tion, thanks to the Canadian Government's newly formed National Film Board.
In March 1942 pioneering of the Alaska Highway was begun by the Corps of
Engineers, U. S. Army, who in May launched the Canol Project as well. Although
U. S. Army Signal Corps cameramen covered many other military construction opera–
tions during the war, the Alaska Highway and Canol were strangely overlooked.
Some still photographs were taken of the Alaska Highway in its early stages as
well as later, but no provision was made for full, official motion-picture cover–
age of either undertaking. As northern adviser and historian to the Corps of
Engineers, first on the construction of the Canol Project, later on the Alaska
Highway as well, I was given an opportunity to help repair this omission. In
view of my experience in photography I suggested to the commanding officer that
I bepermitted to film the Canol Project in addition to fulfilling my other duties.
He agreed to this, and eventually I covered the Alaska Highway also. This film–
ing of these two integrated projects, particularly Canol — which I recorded in
considerable detail so as to furnish top military and civilian executives with
month-to-month cinematic progress reports — was done under all conceivable con–
ditions of light and weather, through all seasons for two years, in northern
Alberta, the Mackenzie District, northern British Columbia, the Yukon Territory,

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

and Alaska. The pictures, all in 16 mm. color, finally totalled some 45 reels.
In the spring and summer of 1944 I used this material to produce for the U. S.
War Department two sound films entitled "Alaska Highway" (3 reels) and "Canol"
(4 reels).
From 1943 onward, when security restrictions were relaxed, Alaska Highway
and Northwest Staging Route activities were superficially covered by newsreel
and National Film Board cameramen, the latter securing some Canol scenes as well.
Postwar activities in the Yukon Territory and the Mackenzie District, particularly
in the Yellowknife gold-mining area, were filmed by the National Film Board.
A special Film Board assignment was that of Exercise Musk Ox, the Canadian
Army's 3,000-mile snowmobile trek from Churchill via Baker Lake, Coronation Gulf,
Great Bear Lake, and the Mackenzie Valley to the Alaska Highway at Fort Nelson
in the late winter and spring of 1946. The cameraman was Roger Racine, who had
photographed two earlier Army exercises; Eskimo, a snowmobile tryout in the Prince
Albert, Saskatchewan, area; and Lemming, a snowmobile run from Churchill to Eskimo
Point. Having recourse to transportation by aircraft supplying the snowmobiles
en route, Racine sometimes went aloft, sometimes accompanied the trek on land,
thus achieving well-rounded continuity. He used Eyemo cameras — which he learned
to lubricate with kerosene in cold weather — and carried floodlights attachable
to automobile storage batteries for interior scenes, and chemical flares for
night shots out of doors. By dint of practice he acquired the knack of changing
film without removing his leather mitts (almost as difficult as playing the piano
so handicapped), thus avoiding the unpleasantness of stiffened and frostbitten
fingers when working at low temperatures.
Hereunder are listed the most important films shot in the Canadian Arctic
or Subarctic since 1921, giving the names of cameramen, directors and sponsoring

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

agencies:
Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918 . Photographed by Sir Hubert Wilkins
for the British Gaumont Company and the Canadian Government.
Down North (1920) . Photographed by J. Booth Scott and acquired by the
Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau.
Nanook of the North (1920-21) . Photographed and directed by Robert J.
Flaherty, sponsored by Revillon Freres. First released in 1922, re-released
with music and commentary in 1947 by United Artists.
Canadian Eastern Arctic Expeditions of 1922 and 1923 . Photographed by
George H. Valiquette for the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department
of the Interior.
Canadian Eastern Arctic Expedition of 1924 . Photographed by Roy Tash for
the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department of the Interior.
Canadian Eastern Arctic Expedition of 1925 . Photographed by George H.
Valiquette for the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department of the
Interior.
Putnam Baffin Island Expedition. 1927 . Photographed by Maurice Kellerman
for George Palmer Putnam.
Hudson Strait Expedition, 1927-28 . Photographed by George H. Valiquette
for the Department of Marine and Fisheries.
In the Shadow of the Pole . Canadian Eastern Arctic Expedition of 1928.
Photographed and edited by Richard Finnie for the Northwest Territories and
Yukon Branch, Department of the Interior.
The Arctic Patrol. Canadian Eastern Arctic Expedition of 1929. Photo–
graphed and edited by Richard Finnie for the Northwest Territories and Yukon
Branch, Department of the Interior.

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

Down the Mackenzie River (1930) . Photographed and edited by Richard Finnie
for the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department of the Interior.
Cruising Among Arctic Islands (1930) . Scenes along the Arctic Coast from
Herschel Island eastward to Victoria Island and King William Island. Photographed
and edited by Richard Finnie for the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch,
Department of the Interior.
Over the North Magnetic Pole (1930) . The first flight to King William
Island and Boothia Peninsula, and search for relics of the Franklin expedition.
Photographed and edited by Richard Finnie for the Northwest Territories and
Yukon Branch, Department of the Interior.
Winter In An Arctic Village (1930-31) . Activities of whites and natives
at Coppermine, Coronation Gulf. Photographed and edited by Richard Finnie for
the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department of the Interior.
Among the Igloo Dwellers (1930-31) . Folkways of the Copper Eskimos, Cor–
onation Gulf, including dancing and snowhouse building. Photographed and edited
by Richard Finnie for the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department of
the Interior.
The Last Frontier (1934) . Transportation and mining development in the
Mackenzie District. Photographed and produced (privately) by Richard Finnie.
Northwest Passage Patrol (1937) . The annual Eastern Arctic voyage of the
R. M. S. Nascopie , highlighted by the meeting at Bellot Strait of the schooner
Aklavik from the Western Arctic. Photographed and edited by Richard Finnie for
the Northwest Territories Administration, Department of Mines and Resources.
Canada Moves North (1939) . A history of exploration, settlement, trans–
portation, and mining development in the Mackenzie District, with sidelights on

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

the changing status of the Indians and Eskimos. Photographed and produced
(privately) by Richard Finnie.
Alaska Highway (1942-44) . The construction and operation of the Alaska
Highway and its appurtenances. Photographed and produced by Richard Finnie
for the U. S. War Department.
Canol (1942-44) . The construction of the Canol Project. Photographed
and produced by Richard Finnie for the U. S. War Department.
It was in September 1939 that the National Film Board came into being.
The new agency consolidated virtually all Canadian Government film-making
activities, expanded them enormously, and found international theatrical and
non-theatrical outlets for large numbers of educational and propaganda films
in both 35 mm. and 16 mm. versions, all with sound tracks and some in color.
Many films designed to stimulate interest in the North were made, including:
Fur Country (1942) . An Indian trapper of James Bay makes his rounds and
brings his skins to the trading post. Directed and produced by Douglas Sinclair
and Edonard Buchman.
Northwest Frontier (1943) . An adaptation of Richard Finnie's 1939 Mack–
enzie District film, purchased by the National Film Board and prepared for re–
lease by James Beveridge.
Eskimo Arts and Crafts (1943) . Folkways of Southern Baffin Island Eskimos,
with sound recordings of drumming and singing. Photographed by Grant McLean,
directed by Laura Bolton.
Eskimo Summer (1943) . Hunting forays and camp life among Eskimos of Hudson
Strait, Southampton Island, Chesterfield Inlet, and Baker Lake, with sound re–
cordings of native songs. Photographed by Grant McLean, directed by Laura Bolton.

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

Look to the North (1944) . An impressionistic treatment of wartime de–
velopments in Northwestern Canada and Alaska, with peacetime implications.
Photographed by Donald Fraser, directed by James Beveridge.
Northwest by Air (1944) . The evolution of the Northwest Staging Route.
Photographed by Donald Fraser, directed by James Beveridge.
Land Fur Pioneers (1944) . A swift review of the exploration and develop–
ment of Northwestern Canada. Photographed by Donald Fraser and Joe Gibson,
directed by James Beveridge. (Introductory and closing speeches by Dr. Charles
Camsell are appended.)
Highways Norht (1944) . The Alaska Highway and its appurtenances are
shown in relation to wartime strategy and peacetime development. Photographed
by Donald Fraser and Sam Orleans, directed by James Beveridge.
Photo Canada (1946) . An account of northern mapping operations by the
Royal Canadian Air Force. Photographed by Stan Berbe, produced by Donald Mul–
holland.
Exercise Musk Ok (1946) . The Canadian Army's snowmobile expedition from
Churchill to Edmonton, via Baker Lake, Coronation Gulf, Great Bear Lake, the
Mackenzie Valley, and the Alaska Highway. Photographed by Roger Racine, dir–
ected and produced by Douglas Wilkinson and Robert Anderson.
New North (1946) . Incorporating scenes taken for earlier films by Donald
Fraser, with new material furnished by Hamilton Wright, this is a one-reel in–
spection of areas of Northwestern Canada opened up by the Alaska Highway, with
emphasis on tourism.
Besides these film subjects, the National Film Board has a large collection
of still photographs comprising about a dozen individual phot-stories on northern
places and activities. Some of these were made separately, others in conjunction
with motion pictures. The topics include: "Alaska Highway" (Spring 1942), by

EA-Canada: General. Finnie: Northern Photography

Harry Rowed; "Alaska Highway" (Summer 1942), by Nicholas Morant; "Truck Convoy"
and "Alaska Highway" (1942), by Ronnie Jacques; "Canol Oil Project" (1943), by
Harry Rowed; "Northwest Staging Route" (1944), by Milton Meade; "Tractor Train
to Yellowknife" (1945), by Ronnie Duke; "Mining, Yellowknife" (1945), by John
Mailer; "Eldorado Mine" (1945), by Jack Long; "Exercise Polar Bear" (1945), by
Army photographers; "Exercise Lemming" (1945), by Roger Racine; "Exercise Musk
Ox" (1946), by George Hunter; "Alaska Highway — Postwar" (1946), by Jack Long;
"Fur Trapping" and "R.C.M.P. in Arctic" (1946), by Bud Glunz; "Baker Lake" (1946),
by George Hunter; "Churchill" and "Nascopie, Supply Ship" (1946), by George
Hunter.
These pictures, all taken by professional photographers, have the double
advantage of high quality and accessibility. However, thousands of other still
photographs of the natural resources, of life and progress in northern Canada
from the 1880's until after World War II are to be found in the files of the
Geological Survey of Canada and the Northwest Territories Administration at
Ottawa. Taken by investigators and scientists on innumerable expeditions, winter
and summer, many of these photographs are good, some are not, but most have con–
siderable archival value. The Hudson's Bay Company, through its house organ,
The Beaver , Winnipeg, has assembled a large collection of photographs, some made
on assignment like those of Richard Hourde, most by fur traders, chronicling
activities in connection with the Company's operations across northern Canada.
Richard Finnie

Religious Missions in Northern Canada

cludes changes and itions by [: 15] - 3/10/48 RELIGIOUS MISSIONS IN NORTHERN CANADA

Missionary activity in northern Canada began with the third
voyage of Martin Frobisher in 1578, when landing parties erected stone
crosses on the shores of Baffin Island, and the chaplain, Master Wolfall,
vowed willingness "to stay there the whole year if occasion had served,"
his only care being to save souls and "to reform those infidels [Eskimos]."
The next recorded effort on behalf of the spiritual welfare of Canadian
Eskimos was that of the Rev. John West, of the Church of England, who visited
York Factory in Hudson Bay in 1822 and met Sir John Franklin's guide and
interpreter, Augustus. The latter, an Eskimo, invited West to come to Fort
Churchill to meet some of his countrymen, which he did before returning
to England. He found these natives well-fed and contented, but told them
he hoped to have the knowledge of Christianity brought to them so that
they could live and die happily.
Missionaries commonly refer to native North American spiritual
concepts as "degraded," while the usual lay explorer or anthropologist
consider s that both the northern [: ] forest Indians and the Eskimos had
religious beliefs and ethics which suited their primitive requirements
very well before the coming of the white man. Some of the many taboos
wi c t h which they surrounded themselves were foolish, some were downright
harmful, but others were based on sound common sense. Some of their
folkways that were outrageous according to civilized standards did nevertheless
serve useful purposes. Take, for instance, the often discussed practices
of polygamy, polyandry, and wife trading among the Eskimos. Split up
into small family groups, they did not always have an even balance of men and women. A good hunter
might be able to support more than one wife, and sometimes did , where
there was a preponderance of women; and where women were in the
minority one woman might take more than one husband. If an unmarried
man or widower were about to set out on a prolonged hunting trip a
friend's wife might go along, for a woman would be needed to take
care of the hunter's clothing and prepare the skins of the animals
he would kill. Infanticide, which has been especially deplored, was
often inevitable. If a woman gave birth to a child during a winter
trek when food was scarce, she might be obliged to abandon it to
avoid endangering not only her own life but the lives of her entire
family, because to keep it would slow down the search for game.
On the whole, the Eskimos and to a lesser extent the northern
Indians already practised the rudiments of what we call Christianity
before the missionaries ever went among them. They were normally
hospitable and generous, honest, and kind to one another. They were
among the most consistent practicers of the Golden Rule.
Many explorers, traders, trappers, prospectors, and officers
and constables of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who have been
in close contact with them have been of the opinion that the pagans
were more dependable and trustworthy, more self-reliant and more
self-respecting than the Christianized Eskimos. A common view of
these observers is that the enticements of imported luxuries and
privileges which rival missionaries bestow on prospective converts
tend to engender hypocrisy and mendicancy.
On the other hand, it has been argued that since civilization
is bound to come to the northern natives the missionaries should go
wherever the trappers and traders and other white men go, for they
are better equipped than any others to cushion the shock. In a book
called Dwellers in Arctic Night (London, 1928), Biship A.L. Fleming,
of the Church of England in Canada, poses and answers the question,
"Why send missionaries among these people who have so many good and
lovable qualities"? The "degraded" phases of his pagan religion,
he says, cause the Eskimos to be weak in many things; and missionaries
can be guides, counsellors, philosophers and friends, bringing them
spiritual strength.
It has been difficult for the northern natives to understand
and adapt Christian dogma. Fundamentally, the Eskimos consider
themselves superior to whites. They concede that we introduced
Christianity, but sometimes they feel that their own interpretations
of it are just as valid as ours. Many of them continue to believe
in all the spirits and taboos of the old faith, superimposing on
these the new Christian teachings. The familiar spirits are still
present, and angry with their former patrons who have repudiated
them.
Father P. Duchaussois, O.M.I., in Mid Snow and Ice (London,
1923), contends that murder was rife among primitive Eskimos. This
is counter to the findings of ethnologists, who explain that when a
killing occurred it was almost invariably motivated by insanity or
self-protection, except for an occasional crime passionel .
Ironically, several murders among Canadian Eskimos in recent
years were inspired by mistaken notions of Christianity. In the an–
nual report of the RCMP for 1924, an account is given of a series of
killings at Home Bay, on the east coast of Baffin Island, when a
native headman, having become insane, partly through brooding on
religion, had two of his fellows put to death, and finally was shot
when about to attack a woman with a hammer. He had sought to impress
upon the community the idea [: ] that he was God or Jesus Christ incar–
nate.
On one of the Belcher Islands, Hudson Bay, in 1941 an Eskimo
proclaimed himself Jesus and held revival meetings after studying a
translation of the New Testament. Three doubters of his divinity
were killed. At last, all his followers were told that the world
was about to end; they must remove their clothing and walk out over
the sea ice to meet God. It was midwinter and six children died of
exposure.
Primitive Eskimo interpretations of Christian teachings have
been known to result in hardships and disasters other than actual
killings. The late Inspector A. H. Joy, RCMP, told of a group of
Baffin Island Eskimos who, short of food, saw a school of narwhal
swimming close to shore. Just as the hunters were about to go after
them, someone remembered that the day was Sunday. Weapons were put
away, and the group starved. But missionaries cold not be blamed
for this any more than they could be blamed for the murders cited,
for no missionaries were present.
That this is fully in character when Eskimos are being Chris- e
tianized, is supported by an almost identical story, except that the
missionary was present, which comes from the Presbyterian Mission at
Point Barrow, Alaska. The Reverend H( ? ) R.(?) Marsh had there taken
the place of the Reverend __________ Griggs who had been a stickler
for sabbath observance. In a time of scarcity, bowhead whales began
running in head just before Saturday midnight. These Eskimos had
been insturcted by Mr. Griggs to cease whaling early enough Saturday
to be sure to reach land before midnight. Mr. Marsh, who knew the
whales were running, saw the hunters coming toward shore over the
ice, went out to meet them and tried to get them to return to the
hunt. They not merely refused to do this but also petitioned the
Presbyterian Board of Missions in New York the following summer to
recall Mr. Marsh and to send them in his place a missionary who be–
lieved in obeying the Lords commandments.
Throughout the Northwest Territories and the Y ukon there are
but two religious denominations at work among the natives: the Roman
Catholic Church and the Church of England in Canada (Anglican). The
majority of the Eskimos are professed Anglicans, while the majority
of the forest Indians are professed Roman Catholica, although "apostasy"
is not uncommon among them.
The first Catholic Roman priest to approach the Mackenzie Basin was
Abb e é Jean Baptiste Thibault, who in 1845 began converting Indians at
Methye Portage. Some had come south from Lake Athabaska with the
fur brigade, and the priest was worried lest his work be undone by a Methodist minister reported to be on his way north.
The minister was James Evans, employed by the English Wesleyan
Society. In By Canoe and Dog Train (London, 1890), Egerton [: R ] . Young
tells how word reached Evans that priests were pushing into the
Athabask a and Mackenzie River country, among some Indians that he had
already visited. He forthwith set out by canoe to try to forestall
the prists. His journey was halted when he accidentally shot and
killed his Indian guide. Shaken by the tragedy, he never completed
his errand, and the Mackenzie Basin, as well as the rest of the
northland, was left clear for his r e i vals. No Methodist mission has
ever been established in the Nor [: ] hwest Territories.
However, James Evans was destined indirectly to exert an in–
fluence on many northern Indians and Eskimos. None of these abori–
gines ever had a written language, and Roman letters did not lend
themselves to the conveying of vague, un-English sounds. Evans in–
vented a syllabic system of writing, using geometric characters re–
sembling those of shorthand, primarily intended for Cree. In 1878
an Anglican missionary, the Reverend E. J. Peck, adapted the Evans
syllabics to Eskimo. Soon the system was borrowed by Moravian ?
missionaries in Labrador, and today it is known throughout the North–
? west Territories, adopted by the Roman as well as Anglican mission–
aries, though its use is more general in the Eastern Arctic. New
Testament, prayer and hymn books have all been rendered in syllabics,
which the natives have learned to read and write.
As early as [: in ] 1847 — two years after Evans' trip was cut short —
the first priest, Father Tach e é , reached Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabaska, and in 1849 a mission was founded there by Father Henry
Joseph Faraud, who became the first Vicar Apostolic of Athabaska–
Mackenzie. He and Father Grandin were the first missionaries to
venture beyond the 60th parallel of latitude, the present southern
border of the Northwest Territories, when they went as far as the
shores of Great Slave Lake in 1852. They did not stay, but six
years later, on July 22, Father Peter Henry Grollier arrived at
Fort Resolution, just weat of the Slave River delta, and founded
a mission.
Within three weeks Anglican Archdeacon Hunter appeared. He
was en route to Fort Simpson on the Mackenzie River. Although
Hudson's Bay Company officials tried to discourage him, it was said,
Father Grollier boarded the boat on which the Archdeacon was trav–
eling and remained his unwelcome fellow passenger. Hunter took up
residence at Fort Simpson, but, according to Father Duchaussois,
historian of the Oblates, Chief Factor Ross would not allow Father
Grollier either to stay there or proceed farther north, forcing him
instead to return to Fort Resolution inside of a week. Duchaussois
also states that the traders petitioned Sir George Simpson, then
Governor-in Chief of the Company's territories, to keep priests out
of the Mackenzie; but instead of doing so he gave them a passe-partout .
Father Grollier was an energetic man. All in 1859, he founded
a mission at Fort Rae, on the North Arm of Great Slave Lake, and then,
heading down the Mackenzie, he founded mission [: ] at Fort Providence,
Fort Simpson, Fort Norman, and Fort Good Hope. Archdeacon Hunter
had already called at the latter post in the spring, [: ] thus setting a record for a missionary's farthe [: ] t north. But Grollier settled
down there and built a church and house. The following summer he
beat the Archdeacon's record by starting the fisrt Arctic mission,
at Fort McPherson, and by being the first missionary to meet Eski–
mos in the Western Canadian Arctic. On September 14, 1860, he
brought some Indians and Eskimos together and induced the leaders
of the two groups to join hands in his at the foot of the Cross, and
several converts were made. No permanent mission was set up at
[: ] Fort McPherson, however, and Grollier went back to Good Hope.
He died in 1864 at the age of 38.
Grollier's successor, Father S e é guin, had some disagreements
with Archdeacon Hunter's assistant, the Reverend W. W. Kirkby, Get his biography through David Paine who
started a mission at Arctic Red River and then went on to Fort Mc–
Pherson, where he was accused of slandering the priests. Duchaussois
contends that the priests were handicapped by poverty while the
Anglican missionary had plenty of money with which to bribe the
Indians "If you do not give me tea and tobacco and clothes," he
quotes the Indians as saying to the prieets, "I must go to the
Protestant minister for them; he gives me all I want."
Bitterness as well as rivalry between the two Christian de–
nominations in the North, which was rife in those early days, has
never waned, often to the bewilderment of the natives.
In 1884 a Missionary See of the Mackenzie River was created
by the Church of England, and the Right Reverend William Carpenter
Bompas was its first bishop. Residing at Fort Simpson he directed the
affairs of the various Anglican missions in the district. His men swept the field in some places, gained a foothold in others, al–
though [: ] in general the Roman Catholics acquired a supremacy over the
forest Indians which they were never to lose. Even at Fort Simpson,
the Anglican headquarters, where no priests had been tolerated ex–
cept for brief visits between 1858 and 1876, there was now a per–
manent mission of the Oblates.
The Grey Nuns, too, were coming into the country, the first
having been installed at Fort Providence [: ] in 1867. But at Hay
River, 75 miles west of Fort Resolution, where a Roman mission had
been established in 1869, the Slave Indians asked for a Protestant
minister in 1893, and the Reverend T. J. Mar s h settled among them.
The next year Catholic Bishop Grouard called at Hay River, intending
to preach, but the Indians refused to receive him. Their hostility
apparently subsided, for in 1900 the Oblates reestablished their
mission.
In conjunction with the mission, Marsh conducted the first
Protestant school in the Mackenzie District. Meanwhile, however,
the Catholic missionaries were giving classroom instruction to native
children at most of the ten missions that were by 1907 included in
the diocese. In 1902 Mgr. Gabriel Breynat was made Vicar Apostolic
of the Mackenzie District and has since held that office, with head–
quarters at Fort Smith.
Marsh appears to have been one of the first northern mission–
aries to become seriously impressed with the physical harm that was
being suffered by the converts to Christianity through their parallel
conversion to white men's ways in housing, clothing and food. He did [: ] his best, for instance, to induce the Hay River people to abandon
their use of log cabins and return to the tepee as an anti-tuber–
culosis measure.
Among the Indians of the Mackenzie District in whom Cathol–
icism took early root were the Dogribs of Fort Rae. When Frank
Russell, the naturalist, went musk-ox hunting with them in 1894 he
found that their devotions were performed as consistently on the
banks of the Coppermine River as in the local church, although in
his Explorations in the Far North (University of Iowa, 1898), he
characterizes a typical service as being marked by a seriousness
which "resulted more from a superstitious desire to propitiate the
wrath of a savage storm god than from a feeling of reverence toward
a beneficent Creator."
Several priests (including Emile Petitot, whose books are
valued by geographers, ethnologists and historians) penetrated to
the Arctic Coast around the Mackenzie Delta, from Herschel Island to
Liverpool Bay, at intervals between the 1860s and 1890s, but they
made no real headway among the Eskimos.
In 1911, Father Jean Baptiste Rouvier traveled from Fort
Norman up the Great Bear River and across Great Bear Lake, wintering
on the Dease River, where he met and baptized some Copper Eskimos.
Encouraged by his modest success, he picked up a fellow priest at
Fort Norman, Father Guillaume Le Roux, and spent another winter along
the Dease. In the autumn of 1913 the two men sledged to Coronation
Gulf. There they found Eskimos who were still unaccustomed to white–
men's ways, and particularly those of missionaries.
The priests were angered when their rifle was purloined or
borrowed by one of the Eskimos. Ill-feeling ensued, which may have
been inflamed by a jealous medicine man. The priests were advised
to leave. They headed up the Coppermine River. Three days later
they were overtaken by two Eskimos, Sinissiak and Uluksuk, to whom
they offered some fox traps if they would help them as far as the
wooded country toward [: ] Great Bear Lake. The Eskimos agreed, and
that night built a snowhouse for the priests. The next day little
progress was made, there was still no timber in sight, and the
priests became impatient. The Eskimos were frightened at this, and
Sinissiak said, "We ought to kill these white men before they kill
us." U [: ] kluksuk was unwilling to take such drastic action, but his
companion ' s will prevailed and the priests were killed.
A variant explanation for the killing is that the Eskimos
thought the priests were trying to entice them into the clutches of
their ancient enemies, the forest Indians of Great Bear Lake. When
Stefansson spent the summer of 1910 with the Eskimos in this region,
he found among the two a reciprocal fear — the Eskimos considered
the forest people treacherous and murderous; the Slaves and Dogribs
had the same feeling about the Eskimos. This information, which
both peoples gave Stefansson at that time, is corroborated by pre–
vious narratives and experience. For instance, the Hudson Bay
Indians, whom Samuel Hearne accompanied to the Coppermine in 1771,
fell upon a village of sleeping Eskimos and butchered them. This
seems to have been typical conduct of the forest Indians. Both the
Copper Eskimos and the Great Bear Lake Indians agree that the Eski–
mos occas s ionally retaliated So, according to one of the theo [: ] ies, it was the persistence of this attitude among the Copper Eskimos
which induced them to kill not merely the priests here in question
but also the travelers Radford and Street (q.v.).
Up to this time the Oblates had sent many priests into the
Mackenzie District, all of whom had worked hard and endured discom–
forts, but none had come to any harm at the hands of natives.
Rouvier and Le Roux were the first and only clerical Arctic martyrs. Sigur in Alaska
Relics of the unfortunate priests, including chalice, breviary,
blood-stained altar cloth and soutanes, were subsequently exhibited
to youthful Oblate scholastics at Edmonton.
The Roman Catholic missionaries discovered at an early date
that in the Mackenzie Valley it was possible to cultivate the land
as well as souls; and they are generally regarded as the pioneer
agriculturists of the region. For three-quarters of a century every
Catholic mission there has had its garden or farm. Coming from
France and Belgium as well as from the Province of Quebec, many of
the priests and nuns had rural upbringing and it did not take them
long to plant crops and acquire cattle. The first Anglican mission–
aries and the traders, too, did some gardening, but they were usually
shorthanded and may have lacked the skill or perseverence of the
Oblate fathers, lay brothers, and the Grey nuns to go in for agri–
culture ona comparatively large scale.
An Oblate priest stationed at Reindeer Lake interested himself
in the Eskimos os the western shores of Hudson Bay as far back as
1868. Thirty-two years later he was given a helper, Father Ars è ne
Turquetil, who soon made a trip into Eskimo country; and he laid plans which resulted in his founding a mission at Chesterfield In [: ] et
in 1912. Twenty years later Turq u [: ] ue til became a bishop and the Vicar
Apostolic of Hudson Bay and the Arctic, just as Bishop Breynat was
Vicar Apostolic of the Mackenzie District.
Mgr. Turquetil retired about 1942 and was succeeded by
Bishop M. Lacroix, whose territory takes in the west coast of Hudson
Bay and the Eastern Arctic Islands, while another Vicariate controls
Catholic missions in Labrador and Northern Quebec under Mgr. [: ] Lionel
Scheffer.
Church of England missionary activity in the Hudson Bay area,
begun by the Reverend John West in 1822, was not resumed until 1862.
That year the Reverend (later Bishop) John Horden, an Anglican minis–
ter stationed at Moose Factory, journeyed as far as Whale River, where
he met and preached to a group of Eskimos.
In 1878 the Reverend E. J. Pack (who, as said, adapted the
Evans syllabics to Eskimo) went to Whale River, stayed there six
years, then proceeded by canoe to Fort Chimo — making the second
recorded traverse of Ungava Peninsula by a white man — to pay a
brief visit to a small band of Eskimos. In 1894 he opened the first
permanent Baffin Island mission, at Blacklead Island (eventually moved to
Pangnirtung), Cumberland Sound, which remained his headquarters for a decade.
(A moravian Missionary named Warmow had visited Cumberland Sound as early as
1858 but left after one winter.) in 1900 Peck was joined by the Rev. E.W.T.
Greenshield. In 1909 the Rev. Archibald L. Fleming founded a mission at Lake
Harbor, did much traveling among the Eskimos until 1915, and long afterward
became the Anglican Bishop of the Arctic.
It was not until 1930 that the Oblat [: ] fathers reached Baffin
Island, where their first mission was placed at Pond Inlet settlement.
The first missionary actually to live on the Western Arctic
coast of Canada was the Reverend Isaac O. Stringer, who became Bishop
of the Yukon in 1905. From 1892 to 1902 he made his headquarters at
Herschel Island, northwest of the Mackenzie Delta.
In 1915 H. Girling, another Anglican missionary, traveled east–
ward along the coast from the Mackenzie Delta to Dolphin and Union Strait,
setting up a station at Bernard Harbor. Since then the Eskimos between
Herschel Island and King William Island have been steadily under the
influence of the Church of England. However, the Oblates moved into
Coronation Gulf from the West in 1929; and from Chesterfield they later
pushed inland as far as Baker Lake, and northeastward to Repulse Bay
at Rae Isthmus, and Pelly Bay in the Gulf of Boothia.
Note on office copy: This account needs insert on the work of Fry and
Whittaker.
The pioneer missionaries of the Yukon were Anglican and Roman Catholic.
However, during the gold-rush years religious activity reached a peak, when
Presbyterian and Methodist as well as Anglican and Roman Catholic churches
were built, and the Salvation Army sent in a vanguard of officers headed by
Eva ngeline Booth. A little later a Christian Science Society was formed. But these
other denominations were primarily concenned with the Yukon's whites; only
the Anglican and Roman Catholic missionaries paid special attention to the
natives, and they remained in the field after the dwindling of the white
population prompted the withdrawal of the others.
The work of the Anglicans in the Yukon began in 1861, when the Rev.
W.W.Kirkby made a trip from the Mackenzie River over the Divide to Lapierre
House on the Bell River. The following year the Rev. Robert McDonald, taking
the same route, continued down the Porcupine to Fort Yukon, Alaska, where he
studied the local Indian dialect and translated the Scriptures. Originally
the Anglican efforts in the Yukon were adjunct to those of the Mackenzie
and Athabaska districts but in 1891 the diocese of Selkirk was formed, with
the Right Reverend W.C. Bompas as first bishop. In 1907 the diocese name was
changed to Yukon, its boundaries being the same as the Territory's.
The first Roman Catholic missionary to venture into the Yukon was Father
Seguin, who spent part of the summer of 1862 at La Pierre House. That autumn
he traveled down the Porcupine River as far as Fort Yukon, Alaska, where
[: ] he spent the winter. His efforts among the Indians were unrewarded, however,
and he returned to the Mackenzie. In the summer of 1870 Father Petitot went
briefly to Fort Yukon, and was followed in 1872-73 by Bishop Clut and Father
Lecorre, who were no more successful at conversion than Father Seguin had been, according to Duchaussois.
It was not until 1897 that the Roman Catholic Church became permanently
fixed in the Yukon, when a church and hospital were erected . at Dawson
under the direction of Father Judge. Other priests who came the next year
were Father Desmarais, Father Lefebvre and Father Gendreau. Under the
latter's administration missions and churches were soon established at
various settlements.
Today there are Anglican or Roman (occasionally both) missions at all
of the principal centers in the Northwest Territories, while in the Yukon
the missions have long since achieved church status.
Missions in the Northwest Territories were in 1947 distributed
as follows:
Roman Catholic : Aklavik, Arctic Bay, Arctic Red River, Baker Lake,
Bathurst Inlet, Cape Dorset, Chesterfield, Churchill (Manitoba), Coppermine,
Coral Harbor, Eskimo Point, Fort Good Hope, Eort Liard, Fort Norman, Fort
Providence, Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Bay River, Holman Island,
Igloolik, Ivugivik (Quebec), Paulatuk, Pelly Bay, Pond Inlet, Port Brabant,
Fort Rae, Repulse Bay, Stanton, Tavani, Wakeham Bay, Yellowknife.
Anglican : Aklavik, Baker Lale, Cambridge Bay, Churchill
(Manitoba), Coppermine, Coral Harbor, Eskimo Point, Fort Chimo
(Quebec), Fort McPherson, Fort Ross, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith,
>— Great Whale River, Hay River, Lake Harbor, Moffet Inlet, Pangnir–
tung, Pond Inlet, Port Brabant, Port Harrison (Quebec), Yellowknife.
In the Yukon there are Roman Catholic churches at Carcross, >—
Dawson, Fort Selkirk, Mayo Landing, Teslin, Watson Lake and White–
horse; and Anglican Catholic churches at Carcross, Dawson, Fort
Selkirk, Mayo Landing, Old Crow, Teslin and Whitehorse.
Besides converting the natives and providing churches for
them, the northern missionaries assumed responsibility for their
schooling and hospitalization. Once the missionaries had become
entrenched along the Mackenzie River, and especially after the ar–
rival of the Grey Nuns, they opened boarding schools where native
children were taught to speak, read and write English or French. no pgf.(Many of the mission-trained Mackenzie District Indians and a few of the
Eskimos have become trilingual, speaking French and English more or less
fluently as well as their native tongue. In the Anglican schools they learn
— — only English, while in the Roman Catholic schools they learn both English
and French, usually with emphasis on French because most of the teachers
are French-speaking. The acquisition of French by these Indians and
Eskimos is something of a curiosity, for there are few French-speaking
whites in the region besides the nuns and priests.)
no ¶ — Although the Grey Nuns, upon their arrival at Fort Providence in
1867, founded the "Hospital of the Sacred Heart", the hospital was
primarily a convent, with scant facilities and no doctor. As late
as 1906 a Government official, after making a trip down the Mackenzie,
appealed for the establishment of hospitals, saying that apart from
the meagre efforts of the missionaries the only professional medical
services rendered in the whole district were those of a single
Government physician on an occasional visit.
In those days both Anglican and Roman missionaries ministered
to the sick in so far as their limited [: ] equipment and knowledge of
medicine permitted. In 1947 there were seven mission hospitals in the Mackenzie District, one in the Keewatin District (at Chesterfield),
and one in [: ] Baffin Island (at Pangnirtung). The Anglican hos–
pitals are at Hay River (sick bay only), Aklavik, and Pangnirtung.
The Roman Catholic hospitals are at Fort Smith, Fort Resolution,
Fort Rae, Fort Simpson, Aklavik, and Chesterfield.
These hospitals have accommodation varying from ten to fifty
beds, with operating rooms and usually X-ray apparatus. [: ] At most of
them are resident doctors. Old people's homes are maintained in
conjunction with the mission hospitals at Aklavik, Chesterfield and
Pangnirtung.
The Federal Government has contributed substantially toward
the construction costs of some of these hospitals, also paying a
daily sum for the care and maintenance of every patient. All of the
doctors are full-time employees of the Department of National Health
and Welfare, serving also as district health officers and, in some
cases, as Indian agents also. The nurses are employed by the missions,
and in the Roman Catholic hospitals they are nuns. All are supposed
to be graduates of recognized institutions.
Residential schools are operated by the Anglicans at Aklavik,
and by the Romans at Fort Resolution, Fort Providence, and Aklavik.
There are Roman day schools at Fort Smith and Fort Simpson. Some of
the Western Arctic Eskimo children attend the Roman Catholic or Church
of England residential school at Aklavik. There are no full-fledged
schools in the Eastern Arctic, though some tuition is offered at the
missions. All of the schools are operated by the missions, assisted by Government grants, with the exception of a new day school for
Indian children at Fort McPherson maintained by the Indian Affairs
Branch, and a non-denominational school at Fort Smith. The only
public school in the Northwest Territories is that at Yellowknife,
the mining center, primarily for white children.
Unhappy features of the old school and hospital systems of
the Northwest Territor i es included a rancorous spirit of competition
between the two denominations, not infrequently resulting in dupli–
cation of services; and proselytism underlying all medical and edu–
cational efforts of the missionaries. Schooling was rudimentary,
givin [: ] g the natives small chance for self-improvement. Disinterested
observers felt that the hospitals should be divorced from missionary
control, made non-sectarian, and consolidated under a Government
agency, with adequate numbers of competent doctors, nurses and teachers,
a proportion of whom could eventually be recruited from native ranks
[: tho ] were they ? Comparable views were expressed by two specialists who made
field studies in 1944 under the auspices of the Canadian Social
Science Research Council, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.
An official Dr. G. J. Wherrett, of the Canadian Tuberculosis Association , surveyed health
conditions and medical and hospital services, while Dr. Andrew Moore, [: ] secondary
school inspector of the Province of Manitoba , surveyed education in
the Mackenzie District.
The former was filled with admiration at the courage and de–
votion of the missions, laboring for so many years to bring Christi–
anity and health to the natives, and applauded the work of the Gov–
ernment doctors who were attempting to give medical care to the small scattered population of an area comprising two-fifths of
Canada. He found unsatisfactory conditions, particularly in regard
to tuberculosis. He strongly recommended that the whole health
service be reorganized with a full-time director in charge, and
that hospitals [: ] should be brought up to a uniform standard with
adequate operating-room, laboratory and X-ray facilities.
The latter's survey led him to the conclusion that schooling
for natives should have two main objectives: (1) to provide them
with as much of the white man's knowledge and behavior as would as–
sist them to enjoy a more abundant and efficient life in their own
environment, and (2) to equip them to cope with the impact of civi–
lization, so that they might become self-respecting, self-supporting
Canadian citizens no longer [: ] under the tutelage of the Government.
He emphasized the need for alert, fully-trained teachers, saying
that the teaching staffs in most of the schools in the Mackenzie
District were weak. There was no lack of devotion among them, but
in nearly every case they were uncertificated and not abreast of
modern methods and practice. He suggested that in addition to per–
manent schools at central locations there be mobile units to follow
the natives in their seasonal migrations, thus bringing suitable
instruction to the children without upsetting their normal lives
with their parents.
He advocated the training of selected Indian [: ] and Eskimo
children in social-service work and various technical fields. With
the establishment of airports, radio and meteorological stations
through the North, he felt that natives should be given preparation to help maintain such facilities.
He recommended the appointment of a resident director of
education to control all education (native, mixed-blood and white)
in the Northwest Territories, responsible to the Northwest Terri–
tories Council; and to assist him, purely in advisory capacity,
there should be an educational council of laymen and clerics dom–
inated by no denominational or other interest.
WHO? In 1946 an inspector of schools was appointed. He traveled
through the Mackenzie District and as a result of his findings the
administration of education in the Territories was to be reorganized.
Besides the construction of a modern public school at Yellowknife,
immediate plans called for the organization of day schools at places
where none existed.
In 1947 there was a further trend in the direction of Gov–
ernment-operated schools. The Northwest Territories Council (the
governing body) resolved to take a larger responsibility in northern
education. The question of whether the Government should buy up all
church school buildings in the Northwest Territories was to be con–
sidered over a long period, but if there were to be any new schools
they should be built by the Government. This statement of policy
was brought out at a meeting of the Northwest Territories Council
in Ottawa, when an application of the Church of England in Canada
to erect a new mission school in the Mackenzie Delta was turned down.
With an increasingly better understanding of the needs and
potentialities of the natives, the Government will eventually estab–
lish its own hospitals (one for tuberculous Indians and Eskimos has been opened in Edmonton), and its own schools for general education
and technical training of natives in the Northwest Territories.
The value of the Eskimos and Northern Indians as intelligent folk
capable of assuming the responsibilities of citizenship, given
proper training, is being realized; and there is no reason why
they should not have opportunities to become teachers, doctors,
nurses, geologists, meteorologists, mechanics, tractor operators,
aviators, and so forth. Eventually, then, the missionaries may
be relieved in large measure of their burden of supplying medical
and educational services so that they may Concentrate on return to their primary
spiritual tasks.

Mineral Possibilities of Yukon Territory, Canada

D. M. LeBourdais

Mineral Possibilities of Yukon Territory, Canada

- Yukon Territory
was first brought to world attention in the dying years of thenine–
teenth century when the fabulous discoveries of the Klondike result–
ed in one of the world's greatest gold rushes. As is usually the
case, — since the Klondike was a placer camp, — the richest ground
was soon worked out. Dawson, in its prime a city of more than 25,000
people, dwindled rapidly after the first flush of gold had died down,
and for the past 30 years has never had more than about 1,000 people.
The existence of placer gold always pre-supposes the presence
somewhere of a "mother lode" from which the gold originally came;
and, as in other similar places, many prospectors diligently search–
ed the hills and gullies in an attempt to find veins of ore studded
with gold equivalent to that which was being washed from the Klondike
gravel beds. Many gold-bearing veins were found in various places,
but none so rich as those much have been which had been ground down
by the glaciers to produce the placer diggings. Neither was any
ledge or other occurrence found which was sufficiently rich and ex–
tensive to justify operation by lode-mining processes.
The first prospectors looked for gold because its presence in
the placer creeks in such abundance seemed to suggest that when gold–
bearing ores were found they would prove to be rich. Another reason
was that gold-mining — if the deposits are sufficiently extensive
and the ore capable of being milled at a margin over cost, — can be
carried on without railway connection because the product is small
in bulk and can be transported by air if necessary at a negligible
cost.
When hope of finding rich gold ore faded somewhat, prospectors
turned their attention to the possibility of finding other types of
lode mines. The [: s ] luice-boxes in the placer mines had produced vari–
able amounts of silver, lead, zinc, copper, tin, tungsten, and a
number of other metals. Perhaps some of these might be found in suf–
ficient quality and of sufficient value to enable profitable product–
ion, even at such a distance from railway transportation. Since White–
horse had railway connection with the ocean port of Skagway, the
region about Whitehorse was one of the earliest to be more or less
thoroughly prospected. A number of promising copper occurrences were
discovered in the area, and from time to time some of them have pro–
vided ore of sufficient grade to justify shipment to smelters in the
State of Washington or in southern British Columbia, but none has
yet been discovered which would justify the building of a smelter
in the Territory, without which no large-scale base metal industry
could develop.
Stewart River, flowing into the Yukon from the east a short
distance below Dawson, had been one of the important placer streams,
and consequently it and its many tributaries were intensively pros–
pected with sufficient results to encourage the prospectors to con–
tinue their efforts. While the placers were still active, a number
of silver-lead occurrences were staked in the Mayo district, about
180 miles up the Stewart River. These were principally on Keno and
Galena hills, and nearby territory. The ore on some of these claims
was sufficiently high-grade to enable the operators to pick the rich–
est of it by hand into bags and ship it outside to the smelter. The
first ore was shipped about 1913, from which date until mining op [: ]
ations were discontinued in 1941, shipments, although made spasmodically,
did not entirely cease.
The ore, after being packed in bags, was usually hauled to the
Stewart river-bank by truck, then loaded on river boats for the IO–
mile voyage down the Stewart and the 460-mile journey up the Yukon
to Whitehorse, where it was transferred to railway cars for the [: ] 111–
mile haul to Skagway, where it was transferred to ocean-going ships,
and eventually hauled again by rail to the smelter. Obviously, ore
that would permit of such handling must be extremely rich to start
with. Most of the values were in the silver because the price for
lead which prevailed until comparatively recently did not permit of
the shipping of lead concentrates. The o re usually carries from 100
to 200 ounces of silver to the ton.
Since 1913, ore to the value of about $30 million has been taken
out of the sliver-lead mines in the Mayo district. Ore not rich enough
to justify the costs of mining and shipping was by-passed, or else
stockpiled against the day when either higher prices for silver or
lead, or both, could be obtained, or better transportation facilit–
ies were forthcoming. If and when a smelter is built in the Yukon
Territory, this accumulation of lower-grade ore should prove of great
value.
Ownership of the various properties in the Mayo district changed
frequently, as group after group became discouraged with the slow rate
at which the hoped-for development of Yukon Territory was proceeding.
Previous to 1941, the principal producing properties in the Mayo dis–
Trict were owned by the Treadwell Yukon Corporation, which, in the
latteryear, was in liquidation, and had discontinued mining operations
on these properties, with the result that between 1941 and 1945 ship–
ments of ore were suspended.
In 1945, however, a group of Canadian mining men headed by Fred
M. Connell, of Toronto, acquired control (Yukon Treadwell was an Am–
erican company), and a new era began for the property. A new company, called United Keno Hill [: ] ines Limited was organized and ample work–
ing capital was provided. The new owners initiated an energetic pro–
gram of development, with the result that in the interval the entire
picture in the Mayo field has changed. Further development work has
disclosed new veins as rich or even richer than those previously
known, and evenything points to the possibility of establishing ex–
tensive ore reserves. The Mayo camp now promises to become one of the
most important base-metal mining capms in North America.
Following the renewal of production in 1947 until the fall of
1950, operating conditions remained essentially as they had been
under the previous owners. Ore still had to be shipped by truck,
boat and rail to smelters far to the south, and the only power was
supplied by Diesel engines, with fuel at 40 vents a gallon at the
mine. Despite these handicaps, and a fire which halted production
for five months in 1949, gross output from April 1947 to the end of
1950 was about $10.5 million, with net profits of about $3 million.
In 1950 alone, gross production totalled $6.5 million, with ore
reserves valued at about $20 million. Higher prices for silver and
lead were responsible for some of this improved position, but the
principal reason was a change due to [: ] the viewpoint of the new owners.
Even ater allowing for the assistance resulting from higher
base metal prices [: ] about one-fifth of gross output now comes from
zinc, formerly not valuable enough to pay shipping costs), the new
company's accomplishment with a "worked-out" property has been re–
markable. But compared to what the future seems to hold, past pro–
duction provides little basis for production in the days to come.
Until the fall of 1950, production was rigidly limited by the fact
that river transport facilities would permit of no more than about 12,000 tons of freight each way in a season. This transportation
bottleneck also increased costs by obliging mine operators to tie
up large sums of money in stockpiles of ore and inventories of sup–
plies during the eight-month period when river transport was clo [: ] d.
This situation seemed to impose insuperable obstacles to any idea of
greatly increased production.
On October 5, 1950, however, the Government of Canada, through
its Department of Mines and Resources, announced the completion of
a $5.5 million highway connecting Mayo with the Alaska Highway near
Whitehorse, and a new era began for the mines of Mayo district. The
new highway will not make possible any reduction in the costs of
transportation, but it will result in more economical operationbe–
cause mining operations can now be continued all year, resulting in
greatly increased production. It will do away with the necessity for
stockpi l ing of ore and the accumulation of inventories of supplies.
Another announcement by the Government in the fall of 1950 was
of great interest and importance to the base-metal miners in the
Mayo District. The announcement concerned the decision to undertake
a $3 million power project on the Mayo River, which promised to [: ] cut
several hundred thousand dollars from each year's mining and milling
costs. The hydro development is at Mayo Canyon, about 30 miles from
Mayo Landing, and is designed to produce 3,000 horsepower, but capable
of expansion to 8,000 horsepower, if needed.
With these improved power and transport facilities, it is expect–
ed that production of United Keno Mines will show an increase of
about 40 per cent in 1951 over the 1950 record of $9.2 million. In–
crease in the mill-rate from 240 tons to 350 tons daily will also
play a part in this new picture, which however will be improved fur–
ther in 1952 when hydro power will enable a mill-rate of 600 tons
a day.
Therefore, if metal prices hold (about $80 a ton early in 1951),
and grade of millfeed can be maintained, United Keno Mines production
could easily reach $15 million by 1952, with excellent prospects of a
progressive increase. But past expansion of from $2 million in 1948
to $15 million in 1952, is only part of the story. So far, Untted
Keno Hill Mines has drawn almost all its pay-ore from one occurrence,
the Hector vein on Galena Hill. The company owns, however, an ar [: ] of
about 26 square miles, and in this area 18 important vein showings
have been outlined along a favorable zone 12 miles in length. In
addition to the Hector mine, five veins in the Galena Hill section
were opened in 1951.
The original mill was built to serve properties on Galena Hill,
and another — of 250 tons — is being built to serve the properties
at the further end of the company's territory — on Keno Hill, where
prospects for major production appear to be just as good. One vein,
on the Keno claim, has a surface showing averaging $164 a ton across
ll feet for an exposed length of 450 feet. Another claim on what is
called the Reserve claim shows values in silver ranging over $200
a ton.
While United Keno Hill Mines' 323 claims cover the greater pro–
portion of the known showings, and that company's activities give
a lead to the development of the district, possibility of develop–
ment of property adjoining is extremely promising, and many other
companies are holding well-located claims, several of which are either
actively producing or preparing to do so. Mackenko Mines, for example,
holding 900 acres near the Hector mine, is developing what is believ–
ed to be an extension of the Hector vein, expects to begin shipping
ore in 1951.
A similar program was under way at the Bellekeno Mines property
in the Keno Hill section; and another company, Akenko Mines, with 12
claims near the Reserve claim of United KenoHill Mines, was awaiting
nearby development for additional information about its own proper–
ties. Further companies were being organized early in 1951 to develop
claims in the Keno Hill section, and it was expected that a custom
mill would be built in this area by mid-1951 to handle the output
from these various properties.
Although geologists agree that the ore bodies in the area are
of primary, not secondary, origin, and thus may be expected to go
to considerable depths, all work so far has been above the 500-foot
level. In earlier days, ore with less than 100 ounces of silver to
the ton was discarded, and it is said that some roads in the area
were made from ore now worth $50 a ton!
Some 400 men were employed in the Mayo camp in the fall of 1950,
and by the summer of 1951 the population of Mayo District was expected
to reach well over 1,000. This would make Mayo second only to White–
horse in size among Yukon communities. If a projected development by
United Keno Hill Mines which contemplates the building of a smelter
to produce silver, lead and zinc at the mines, thus saving the cost
of $40 or more a ton required to ship concentrates to an outside
smelter, materializes, the Mayo District should at last assume the proportions of
a major mining region, with important results for Yukon Territory
as a whole. The Government of Canada, anxious to encourage the estab–
lishment of permanent communities in the Northwest, is said to be
giving every encouragement to the idea of a smelter. Such a develop–
ment could easily result in a population of 5,000 in the Mayo District.
This activity in the Mayo District is reflected in a number of other sections throughout the Territory, especially in the region
about Whitehorse, where there has been more or less activity since
the early days of the Klondike rush. The Whitehorse region contains
a wide variety of mineral occurrences, including gold, silver, copper,
zinc, lead, antimony, manganese, molybdenite, tungsten, and tin. In
addition, there are extensive deposits of good bituminous coal. Under
the stimulation of high prices for base metals, large mining companies
such as Noranda Mines Limited and Hudson Bay Exploration and Develop–
ment Company (subsidiary of Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company,
of Flin Flon, Manitoba), have sent survey parties into the Territory.
Over a period of three years the former company conducted in the vic–
inity of Whitehorse magnetometer surveys as well as diamond drilling.
The Wheaton district, to the south and west of Whitehorse, also
contains a variety of prospects, including some of gold, silver-lead,
copper, zinc, antimony, and fluorspar. Between 1908 and 1915, this
district was quite extensively prospected, and while several promis–
ing properties were discovered, none proved sufficie [: ] tly so as to
justify the investment of large capital. Consequently, as in other
parts of Yukon, owners of claims are patiently awaiting the general
development of the Territory, when, as they hope, their district
will advance with the rest of the country.
Antimony deposits in the Wheaton district, according to Dr. H. S.
Bostock, of the Geological Survey of Canada, are of particular inter–
est. They occur along a zone extending from Lake Bennett to the north–
west side of Wheaton River, in which several persistent veins and
many small showings have been found. Good mining widths of ore carry–
ing as much as 30 per cent antimony have been exposed, but the sulph–
ides of other metals are mixed with those of antimony, which places the Wheaton ores at a disadvantage in competition with ores free from
undesirable metals. The deposits, however, are reasonably accessible,
and undoubtedly will prove profitable as soon as transportation [: ] d
other facilities are provided.
Yukon Territory contains a number of other areas which show prom–
ising mineral possibilities. One of these, called by geologists the
Dawson Range area, lies along the southwestern side of the Yukon
River valley, from Carmacks to the mouth of White River. In 1931, a
gold-bearing copper-magnetite deposit was discovered on Freegold Mount–
ain in this area by a trapper; and prospects of gold, silver-lead,
lead-zinc, copper, and antimony were found shortly afterward in the
vicinity of the original discovery. One of these prospects, known
as the Laforma property, has since been operated by a succession of
companies, but development was discontinued in 1940, owing to a
disagreement between the owners othe property and the operators.
Another property in the area showing promise is the Brown-McDade
mine, about 15 miles south of the Laforma. Considerable development
work on this property in 1947 disclosed the presence of a large de–
posit, but since an extensive program of development was conside [: ]
necessary before its value could be determined, no further work has
been done. The Brown-McDade discovery, however, stimulated other
prospecting, with the result that several gold, silver, and lead
prospects were discovered in the district. This region would undoubt–
edly be fully explored if it were in other parts of Canada where
transportation is available, but, like many others in Yukon Territ–
ory, it must await the general development of the country. Since he
area is nearly all readily accessible from the Yukon River, it should
be one of the first to benefit from any improvement in the general
transportation picture.
No estimate of the mineral possibilities of Yukon Territory
would be complete without an account of its coal and oil possibil–
ities. So far as coal is concerned, Yukon is one of the most poten–
tially productive regions of Canada. Dr. Bostock lists thirteen dif–
ferent areas underlain by either Mesozoic or Tertiary coal measures,
some in relatively small pockets or basins, but others extending
over wide areas. What he calls the St. Elias Belt consists of ten or
more detached basins of Tertiary sediments containing lignite deposits
whichfollow the valley-like Duke Depression parallel with and behind
the main front ranges of the St. Elias Mountains. It is believed that
in most of the basins seams of coal of workable thickness can be found.
One of the most important fuel belts in Yukon Territory is the
Lake Laberge Mesozoic area, consisting of the large geosyncline of
Mesozoic strata extending northwestward from near the British Col–
umbia border, in which coal of Lower Cretacious age and some of Jur–
assic age is found. The Cretacious coal is of bituminous and semi–
bituminous grade, and has been mined for local use since early Klon–
dike days. Estimates of the coal available in such sections of this
area as have so far been sufficiently examined amount to 231,160,000
tons of possible and probable coal in seams more than three feet thick.
The northwest 100 miles of Tintina Valley, a remarkable depr [: ]
ion stretching from Pelly River near Ross River Post northwesterly
past Dawsoninto Alaska, is floored by Tertiary sedimentary rocks
containing seams of lignite. According to Dr. Bostock, "this long,
troughlike area of coal measures constitutes a great reserve of lig–
nite in a relatively accessible part of Yukon."
In the Liard Plain Area, Tertiary sediments with lignite seams
are widely distributed, and Dr. Bostock thinks that "within the wide expanses of Liard Plain in Yukon Territory, 100 square miles or more"
of these lignite-bearing beds might be considered probable.
Northern Yukon is divided by Dr. Bostock into eight coal areas,
three underlain by Mesozoic rocks and the other five by Tertiary form–
ations. Not much exploration has yet been done in any of the three
Mesozoic areas, which include the Peel Plateau area, the Porcupine
River area, and the Arctic Coast area, but coal seams have been wide–
ly observed in these areas, and from the evidence available Dr. Bos–
tock is of the opinion that large reserves of coal may be expected
there.
The Bonnet Plume area, which consists of a basin of Tertiary
sediments on the lower reaches of Bonnet Plume and Wind rivers, both
of which are tributaries of Peel River, contains many seams of lignite,
including one 40 feet and another eight feet thick. The area unde [: ] ain
by these strata is approximately 400 square miles, which indicates
the possibility of large coal reserves.
With respect to petroleum prospects in the Yukon, considerable
area in the northwestern portion of the Territory are underlain by
strata geologically favorable for the concemtration of petroleum,
but very little exploration work has yet been done in any section of
this great region. "The potentialities for oil in northern Yukon
can only be appraised from meager information, but this indicates
some possibilities of oil reservoirs. Eagle Plain, occupying an area
of about 5,000 square miles, and Peel Plateau east of Richardson Mount–
ains are regarded with most favor, but the border areas on the east,
northeast, and south of Porcupine Plain as a whole also have possibilities.
Enough has been shown to indicate that Yukon Territory is a region
rich in potential mineral wealth. The principal obstacle to its develop-
Enough has been shown to indicate that Yukon Territory is a
region rich in potential mineral wealth. The principal obstacle to
its development is lack of cheap transportation; and until a rail–
way is built into the Territory its mineral production must be limited
to that obtained from only the richest occurrences. Such a limitation
would seriously handicap any mining region in the world. That Yukon
Territory can, in the circumstances, produce any minerals other than
placer gold is a tribute to the inherent wealth of her mineral res–
ources.
It will thus be seen that the future of Yukon Territory hangs
upon the possibility of a railway. What, then, are the prospects for
a railway within a reasonably short time? Despite the obvious rich–
ness of its mineral wealth, and the equally obvious need for arail–
way inorder to develop that wealth, the prospects for a railway to
the Yukon itself would not be very bright for the simple reason that
Canada has many other undeveloped regions much more accessible whose
claims would probably be given previous consideration. The people of
Alaska, however, also with rich natural resources awaiting develop–
ment, have for many years been agitating for a railway. With state–
hold now a practical reality, railway connection with the rest of
the United States becomes an imperative matter; and any railway that
connects Alaska with the other States must be built through the Yukon.
The question still to be considered concerns the probable route
of such a railway when built. The choice seems to rest between two
alternative routes. The British Columbia Government has recently ex–
tended the Pacific Great Eastern Railway from its former northern term–
inus at Quesnel to Prince George, 84 miles farther north. There is a
possibility that this railway might be continued northwestward along
the Rocky Mountain Trench to the point where the latter joins the Liard Valley, thence, in a general way, following the Alaska Highway
to Fairbanks.
The other possible route would begin at a point on the Northern
Alberta Railways somewhere north of Peace River, thence northward to
the Mackenzie Valley, down the latter to a point near Norman Wells,
after which it would follow one of a number of passes through the
Mackenzie Mountains to the Yukon Valley. Such a railway would follow
the two great waterways of northwestern America — the Mackenxie and
the Yukon, — and could provide a trunk line through its most potential–
ly productive portions. It would also provide an important section of
the "Highway to Asia" which must someday be undertaken.
From the standpoint of the quick development of certain sections
of Yukon Territory, perhaps the most feasible railway construction
program would consist of an extension of the present White Pass and
Yukon narrow-guage railway which connects Whitehorse with Skagway,
Alaska. But what Yukon Territory needs for its final development as
a community with a permanent, self-sustaining population, is integrat–
ion with the rest of Canada; and this can best be brought about by
the building of a railway along the Mackenzie-Yukon route, as suggest–
ed above.
As has been shown, northern Yukon has good possibilities asa
producer of coal and oil, but the region through which a railway
down the Mackenzie Valley would traverse also is rich in these very
products, and these would most likely be developed first. Yukon's
resources might be developed sooner, however, if there were a consider–
able local population and local industries to justify their development.
The wide extent over which copper, lead, zinc, and other base
metals ate found in Yukon Territory, added to the nearby presence of
coal, makes the possibility of an indigenous industrial region not so fantastic as might be supposed. What has already been shown concern–
ing the mineral possibilities of Yukon Territory might easily support
such a contention; but late in 1950 the report of huge deposits of
hematite iron ore in northern Yukon rounds out a picture of mineral
resources hard to equal.
Until recently Canada's iron ore production was negligible. The
greater part of it came from mines near Sault Ste Marie, Ontaio, and
was not the sort of ore most in demand. Then, about 1945, a large
lake near the western end of Lake Superior was drained disclosing
the presence of large deposits of high-grade hematite ore. The Steep
Rock mine at Atikokan, 140 miles west of Port Arthur, was at first
expected to produce about 1,200,000 tons of ore a year; but in the in–
terval new ore-bodies have been discovered and an eventual production
of 10,000,000 tons is now expected. With the entry, in 1949, of New–
foundland into the Canadian Confederation, a further production of
1,750,000 tons a year was added to the Canadian iron ore total from
the output of the Wabana Mines in Conception Bay, near St. John's.
Meanwhile, iron ore deposits long known to exist in Labrador and New
Quebec were being developed by a group of Canadian and United Staes
interests, with an initial yearly production of 10,000,000 tons be–
ginning about 1954.
All these sources of iron, however, are in the eastern parts of
Canada. Similarly, in the United States, deposits of iron ore of con–
sequence are all in the eastern part of the country; and this is also
characteristic of iron deposits in South America. Now the balance
seems about to be righted by this discovery of iron ore in northern
Yukon, of which Dr. Bostock writes:
"Bedded hematite iron formation is associated with Late Pre–
cambrian (?) strata in this general region from the 141st Meridian
in the Ogilvie Mountains area, in the northwest, to South Nahanni River in the southeast, at intervals along a broad arc about 550 miles
long. Where actually sampled in place on the 141st Meridian and near
the Canol Road, the grade of the iron formation is low, but north–
east of Mayo between Wind River and the head of Stewart River the iron
formation is said to be of good ore grade . . .Some samples brought
to Ottawa were examined by geologists or iron and steel companies,
and pronounced to be similar in quality and grade to Lake Superior
iron ores. Some of the specimens are of nearly pure hematite. No one
has described this ore in place northeast of Mayo except the late
Livingstone Wernecke of the Treadwell Yukon Corporation, who stated
that the iron formation near the head of Bonnet Plume River was sev–
eral hundred feet thick and could be traced from the air for 130
miles southeasterly through the mountains."
This, of course, does not establish the existence of iron ore
deposits in sufficient quantity and of such grade as to justify
development, but when the extent of the area underlain by iron form–
ations, the thickness of the beds where examined, and the existence
of nearly pure hematite in some places where sampled, are all taken
into consideration, the picture is almost conclusive. The location
of the iron deposits in northern Yukon is similar to that of the
iron deposits in Labrador and New Quebec, where they follow a belt
extending for about 500 miles, and where the full possibilities of
the ranges were not disclosed until considerable exploration had
been done.
Itis not to be expected, of course, that sufficient iron ore
could be used in Yukon Territory to justify the development of these
beds, any more than iron ore could be used in Labrador. As in the
latter place, the bulk of the ore would have to be exported, and the the question as to whether it could be profitably developed would
depend almost entirely upon how easily it could be brought to tide–
water, and on this point Dr. Bostock writes: "By following the best
grades, a railway to this locality head of Bonnet Plume River from
Skagway would be less than 500 miles long. On this route to the sea
it would pass through the Laberge Mesozoic coal area as well as the
Mayo area." Such a line would cross the Mackenzie-Yukon route sug–
gested here and act as a feeder for it.
It therefore seems more than likely that Yukon Territory, when
fully developed, will become one of the most highly-productive parts
of the world. There is nothing in its climate and nothing insuper–
able in its position, geographically, to prevent it from becoming in
time the home of many millions of people.
- D. M. LeBourdais
Reference:
<bibl> Bostock, H. S.: Potential Mineral Resources of Yukon Terriory ,
Geological Survey of Canada; Paper 50-14; 1950. </bibl>

Baird-Bray Expedition, 1938-39

EA: Canada, General
(P. D. Baird)

BAIRD-BRAY EXPEDITION, 1938-39

This expedition was originally planned to last two years, but,
owing to the accidental death of R. J. O. Bray in September 1938, and to
the onset of the war, it lasted only one year.
Plans called for the attainment by the fall of 1938 of the neigh–
borhood of Pilling (west coast of Baffin Island) which was first reached by
Bray and G. W. Rowley in March 1937. Winter quarters were to be established
here with an Igloolik native family and the geographical exploration to the
interior of Baffin Island as far as the east coast was planned for the two
succeeding winter and spring seasons. Bray intended to do ornithological
collecting near Piling in the summer of 1939 and P. D. Baird to investigate
the icecap areas near the east coast, meeting the Nascopie at Clyde. The
second summer was to be spent on the northeast Baffin Island coast, possibly
at Bylot Island.
The party with a whaleboat and equipment left Churchill on the
Roman Catholic Mission vessel M. F. Therese for Igloolik on 12 August, 1938.
After attaining Cape Wilson (lat. 67° N.) on 25 August the ship was pre–
vented by ice from further northward progress and retreated to Winter Island.
Here it was decided not to attempt any further passage, so the party was
landed on 29 August and from then on made their own way north in the whale–
boat, with considerable difficulty at first from ice. Cape Wilson was not
passed again till 8 September, but after this the ice had cleared and the
party reached Quarmang, the first native camp of the Igloolik group, on
13 September.

EA: Canada, General
(P. D. Baird)

The next day in an offshore wind Bray was blown out to sea in a
folding boat and lost. Baird continued with natives from Quarmang to
Igloolik and reached the R. C. Mission's summer quarters at Abadya on
20 September.
On 11 November, with Nutararia, Baird crossed Melville Peninsula
to the head of Garry Bay, returning by 22 November. In early December, by
which time the sea ice had made sufficiently, Baird started out to send
the news of Bray's death from the nearest radio station. No Eskimo being
prepared to undertake the trip to Arctic Bay, he left with Kanaitia for
Repulse Bay, 300 miles to the south. This journey, undertaken in the
middle of the darkest period without much preparation, took 18 days.
After spending Christmas and New Year at Repulse Bay, Baird
returned to Igloolik, the return taking 29 days, with several stops at
Eskimo camps on route. On 12 February, a start was made for Piling with
Nutararia and his son and this bay was reached on 9 March. Here was found
a note from T. H. Manning, who had reached this point from the south on
11 February. An astronomical fix which Manning had been unable to complete
was obtained here and the party (two whole Eskimo families) pushed on in
an attempt to cross Baffin Island to River Clyde. But the natives lost
the way and dog feed and fuel were becoming short so it was decided to
return to the Foxe Basin coast and travel to Pond Inlet instead of Clyde.
The former post was reached on 16 April and preparations were then made
By Baird to explore Bylot Island during the spring and summer, using a
team of five dogs.
A short journey was made up the east coast in early May and a

EA: Canada, General
(P. D. Baird)

triangulation was initiated from the Hudson Bay post to extend across
to points on Bylot Island
At the end of May quarters were established in a former R.C.M.P.
shack, made from an overturned boat, on the south coast of Bylot Island,
20 miles northwest of the Pond Inlet post.
From here during the first 17 days of June a sledge journey was
made up the Aktinek glacier to a summer at 5,000 feet, 20 miles inland.
From here a large northward-leading glacier was followed toward Lancaster
Sound but, as its lower reaches were crevassed and deep with soft snow,
it was left for a glacier flowing nearly to the east coast which was
followed to the sea and a fix obtained at its termination. Traveling back
again, Baird descended the Sermilik glacier to the south coast. At the
summit a mountain of 6,100 feet was climbed, one of the highest on the
Island (higher than Mount Thule, 5,895 feet, which is prominent from Pond
Inlet post). The interior of the island is highland ice — not a complete
or at all level icecap, but an eroded mountain system nearly swamped by ice.
Subsequent to this journey the remainder of spring and much of the
summer's work was curtailed owing to loss of some dogs by sickness and a
severe hand injury which prevented canoe travel. Notes were made on the
bird life and geology of the southwest corner of Bylot Island, which is
composed mainly of Tertiary sediments.
A motorboat called for Baird in late August, and the simultaneous
arrival of the Nascopie and the outbreak of war brought the expedition to
a close.
P. D. Baird

Exercise Lemming

EA-Canada: General
(P. D. Baird)

EXERCISE LEMMING

This small Canadian Army Exercise was carried out in March-April 1945
as an arctic offshoot of the two much larger subarctic exercises (Eskimo and
Polar Bear) conducted earlier during that winter. It represented the first
attempt to operate oversnow vehicles (as opposed to heavier tractors) north
of the tree line, and it was also the first time Canadian troops had operated
in truly arctic areas in Canada. The moving force consisted of only 13 men,
3 officers, 7 other ranks, and 3 observers from the Department of Mines and
Resources, from the Department of Munitions and Supply, and from the United
States Army.
Vehicles used were two Canadian armored snowmobiles, two U.S. Army Weasels,
and two U.S. M7S (half-tracks). All supplies were carried on the convoy, but
extra gasoline obtained at Eskimo Point enabled the force to go farther than
planned. All vehicles covered the complete route, but one of the M7s was towed
the last 150 miles after breaking an axle.
The route taken was from Churchill, Manitoba, coastwise to Eskimo Point,
N.W.T., thence inland to Padlei, N.W.T., and return to Churchill in practically
the same tracks — a total distance of 653 miles. On the coastwise portion the
convoy traveled half the distance on the land half on the sea ice, at one time
on ice of only 14 inches thickness. Supplies were towed in sleds, and the men
camped in army five-man tents except when at the settlements en route.
As the exercise took place in late winter, weather conditions were not

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Lemming

severe; the minimum temperature was 24° below zero F. but the first few days
saw near thawing conditions. The force was duly made aware, however, of the
chilling conditions of wind in the Arctic, and in its report the question of
"wind chill" was discussed for the first time in a military document.
The route's two ends both lay at the edge of timber with flat bare country,
mainly well snow-covered, in between, and took place at a time of year when
arctic traveling conditions are becoming good. The surprising success of the
exercise however in covering the distance in the good time of 10 traveling and
16 elapsed days caused the immediate consideration by its organizers of a more
ambitious scheme. Exercise Musk Ox, in fact, took initial shape on the Hudson
Bay Railway train at the conclusion of Lemming, and most of the modifications
and selection of equipment to be used on the larger exercise resulted from find–
ings of the smaller.
Personnel included:
Major P. D. Baird, Commander
Lieut. R. Inglis
Capt. H. W. Hadden
Sgt. R. Racine
Cpl. F. L. Morton
Cpl. H. A. Musselman
L/Cpl. D. Lavoie
Tpr. F. Rosin
Tpr. W. A. Smith
Tpr. O. L. Strid
Lieut. (R.C.N.V.R.) T. H. Manning, Observer
Mr. R. J. Kerr, Observer
Lieut. H. C. Hansen, U.S.Army Observer
P.D. Baird

Exercise Musk-Ox

EA-Canada: General
(P. D. Baird)

EXERCISE MUSK-OX

This most widely known of the Canadian Army winter exercises was
carried out during the winter of 1945-46, approval being given by the
Minister of National Defence soon after the close of the war with Japan.
It was a climax of considerable winter training and experimentation the
inspiration of which had been the projected Allied invasion of Norway,
and, after that plan had been shelved, the principle that Canadian troops
should be better acquainted with operational conditions in their own
country in the long winter period. Immediately after the end of Exercise
Lemming (q.v.) April 1945, the Director of Operational Research, impressed
with the performances of snowmobiles on the Barren Grounds in winter, de–
vised the rough plan of the exercise.
The main features of this plan were to give vehicles a long-range
test, starting in winter conditions on the Barren Grounds and continuing
through the soft snow and thawing weather of the northwestern bush country
in spring. Living and operating conditions for a small selected group of
soldiers and observers, the bulk of whom would be unused to arctic conditions,
were to be tried out. Cooperation of the Royal Canadian Airforce to supply
the ground party was sought since it was felt that any military operation
in these regions must necessarily rely on air supply, and there was much
to learn in regard to navigation and operation of transport aircraft off

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-ox

improvised fields and in the varying difficulties of winter weather.Finally Musk-Os was unique in military exercises of its scale in the
large proportion of expert scientific observers, each responsible for cer–
tain research projects, included in the ground party, since it was realized
that much of the ground to be traversed was scientifically unknown.
Planning was based on the knowledge of machines and their cold weather
operation, and of camping and personal equipment, gained from the larger
scale Canadian Army exercised carried out the preceding winter; but, as
approval to carry out the exercise was granted at a late date, much detailed
administrative work was required to be done at short notice and the speed of
delivery of equipment was hastened only when the public and general staff
interest was aroused by the challenge from sceptical northerners.
An important modification to the Canadian armored snowmobile was the
necessity to fit an all-weather cab over the machine's open two-place cockpit
capable of protecting a larger crew from the severe weather. This took only
six weeks from drawing board to delivery, an excellent rush job which, how–
ever, failed in one respect in that the cooling system suffered from an
injudiciously designed airflow and exhaust system, and the anomalous situa–
tion occurred of the vehicle's overheating in 40 below weather, until
remedial steps had been taken.
The troops taking part were divided into several units. First a base
force under the command of Lieut. Colonel J. D. Cleghorn provided the
communications and other functions of a base, starting operations at Churchill
and moving to Norman Wells and Edmonton. But their chief task was the chain
of supplies, fuel, replacement parts, and rations, which had first of all
to come from ordnance and quartermaster depots, and then be packed and loaded

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

into aircraft by a special supply unit of the Royal Canadian Army Service
Corps for dropping by parachute or [: ] landing near or in advance of the
moving force.
A second unit under the command of Lieut. Colonel G. W. Rowley estab–
lished an advance air force landing strip and meteorological station at
Baker Lake, N.W.T., to enable the Dakota aircraft to operate safely over
the very long hauls to the arctic coast. This unit (of 11 men) traveled
by snowmobile and civilian-operated D6 tractors and, starting in January,
encountered in their 24 days of overland travel even more wintry conditions
than the main moving force experienced. Much was learnt by this force on
the operation of the tractors which hauled four heavy freight sleds and a
caboose for living comfort, in which the catskinners, often driving for
twelve hours exposed to the arctic weather, were able to sleep and eat on
the move.
The third army unit was the main moving force under command of Lieut.
Colonel P. D. Baird. The list of members of this group is given below.
The Royal Canadian Air Force unit specially created for the exercise
was named "No. 1 Air Supply Unit," commanded by Wing Commander J. Showler,
with Squadron Leader J. Coombes as second in command and in charge of the
three Norseman aircraft. Six Dakots aircraft formed the main supply air–
craft and two gliders loaned by the United States Air Force were added in
the latter stages of the exercise.
Assembly and training of the various units began in November 1945 and
took place at Shilo, Gimli, and Churchill, all in Manitoba. The drivers
had to become familiar with the snowmobiles, air crews with the unusual type
of navigation over the treeless Arctic, and the army air supply unit had to
learn the complicated practices of loading and packing parachute equipment

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

and to work alongside their Royal Canadian Air Force comrades. Finally
all hands, but particularly the moving force, had to practice living and
camping techniques in subzero weather, and the moving force crews had to
become knit together as teams and establish working practices on small
preliminary exercises out from the base.
As January advanced, all the units were assembled at Churchill and the
training was well under way. On January 24th, 1946, the Baker Lake Force
set out and, due to radio trouble after they had passed Eskimo Point, vanished
into the Arctic. After traveling through the severest weather of the winter,
they reached Baker Lake on February 17th, and immediately set about estab–
lishing their airstrip on the ice and their meteorological station.
Meanwhile the main moving force had started off on the first part of
their 3,000-mile journey, leaving Churchill with due ceremony on February
15th. Eleven Canadian snowmobiles and one U.S. "Weasel" made up the initial
force traveling in three self-cont [: ] ined divisions which were in radio communi–
cation with each other but semi-independent so that breakdowns and other
delays would hinder only one group and not the whole force.
The first stage of the journey was in the main along the shore of Hudson
Bay, following the tracks of the Baker Lake party which, with its heavier
tractors, had kept to the overflow ice between the tide marks. At Eskimo
Point the force first experienced the warm hospitality of the northern
settlements; a little village with only twelve white inhabitants was able
to billet four times that number of visitors without recourse to the force's
tents.
From Eskimo Point some deviations were made from the route of the
advance party in an attempt to avoid heavily boulderstrewn areas. The

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

attempt was not altogether successful and much trouble was encountered in
threading a way through glacial rubble piles on which the crosslinks of the
vehicle treads were often fractured, and even greater damage caused to the
towed sleighs. A notable feature of this section was that the prevailing
north-northwest wind, in which direction the force was traveling, caused
drift accumulations in the lee of each stone facing the oncoming party and
giving a false impression of smoothness which was soon destroyed by looking
behind.
During all this journey from Churchill to Baker Lake wintry conditions
were extreme. Several times violent drifts halted all movement and in these
cases rear divisions often had to move at a walking pace with the commander
on foot scanning the faint tracks ahead. Temperatures ranged from 48 below
zero (Fahrenheit) to zero, averaging 27 below, with mean wind speed 16 miles
per hour.
The air supply in this shakedown period was functioning well, and regularly
the planes came over and dropped the quantities of gasoline that the vehicles
were using. Only once on the whole journey was a halt caused for lack of
fuel, and this for a matter of a few hours only and for only a portion of
the force at that.
At Baker Lake a rather longer halt than had been planned occurred. The
air force staff were concerned with the higher than estimated fuel consumption
of the ground party, to keep which fully supplied was taxing the available
aircraft to the full. It was decided accordingly to reduce the vehicles to
ten, instead of adding one snowmobile to make twelve as planned. The weasel,
in trouble on the large gard snowdrifts of this region, had been sent back
shortly after leaving Churchill.

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

The next stage of the journey from Baker Lake to the arctic coast was
over largely unknown country. Beyond the Thelon River ststem the only
feature on the map of this two hundred-mile stretch was Back River, still
recorded from the sketch map of Captain Back in 1834 and only once since
traversed by a white party (1855). Rumors of high hills near the coast
were prevalent but it was found that these were much exaggerated. Despite
the usual areas of glacial boulders the force was able to keep a tolerably
straight course checked by astral navigation and did not have to achieve
more than six hundred feet in altitude. Temperature conditions were moder–
ating for this section, averaging 15 below zero, but the hard going was
causing increasing damage to the sleds and on several occasions fresh runners
had to be called for and were duly delivered.
This section saw the Air Force extended to its longest hauls from base.
For the moving forces' convenience a supply drop, to collect and pack which
took some time, was most convenient when halted for camp, but this was not
easy for the Air Force who had navigational troubles to contend with. Usually,
however, a pre-dawn take-off would enable star navigation to be used; the
force, located at the end by a homing signal, would be dropped to at breakfast,
and then the planes could return to the base, where radio range facilities
were available, in daylight.
The arctic coast was reached on March 12th in very foggy conditions
and only the fortunate meeting with a sledge team of Eskimos avoided a delay
searching in thick weather among the islands for the Parry River trading post.
This was managed bya native trader, and prior to the force's arrival a large
cache of supplies had been dropped by a sortie of five aircraft, the drop
being organized on the ground by the Norseman 'plane piloted by Squadron–
Leader Coombes with native assistance from the settlement.

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

The moving force were well behind schedule here but a rapid run over the
smooth sea ice followed, to Cambridge Bay, reached in one and a half days.
This post on Victoria Island was the most northerly point reached by the main
body but while the base was moving from Churchill to Norman Wells a detach–
ment of three vehicles crossed to Denmark Bay for the purpose of magnetic
observations close to the position of the North Magnetic Pole. Meanwhile
the main body was resting and refitting while the supply planes were able
to land on the unprepared smooth ice of the bay. The R.C.M.P. vessel St. Roch
of Northwest Passage fame, commanded by Inspector H.A. Larsen, was wintering
in Cambridge Bay.
On May 23rd the force started on its homeward way, spending five days on
the ice of Coronation Gulf to Coppermine, past Point Turnagain, the eastern
mark of Franklin's exploration one hundred and twenty-five years before.
From Coppermine the route lay inland leaving the true Arctic and reaching
the first trees seen since the first day out from Churchill. Soft snow
and steep hills cut down the speed again, but after crossing the height of
land at about two thousand feet, a long run down to and across the ice of
Great Bear Lake followed and the mining settlement at Port Radium was reached
on April 4th. Here occurred the only serious mishap on the exercise. One
of the advance snowmobiles had fallen partially into a pressure crack
just short of the mine, and in coming to its assistance a mine tractor broke
through the ice and its driver was pinned underneath and drowned. The
force's enjoyment of the comforts of the mining camp was shadowed by this
sad accident.
To overcome these open but dangerously concealed cracks on the great
lake the force carried timbers for bridging on the next section and with

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

the help of these soon reached the lake's outlet and made a road to the
St. Charles rapids of Bear River. Then came a slow section through the
forest, fourteen miles on a newly bull-dozed trail taking nine hours to
overcome. This brought the force to Fort Norman on the broad Mackenzie
River and from here on a trail through the forest was to be followed to
civilization.
Now two days behind schedule, there was no time to be lost as an early
spring break-up was forcast and rivers would be impassable soon. With the
rising day temperatures night travel to gain better snow surfaces was ordered
and trail-breaking vehicles, relieved of their sled loads, were sent ahead
to break a track through the soft snow and to remove fallen trees and snags.
The long miles hauled in low gear were telling on the engines and transmissions
and several of the latter failed at this stage, a time when landing spares
by Norseman was becoming increasingly difficult due to thaw conditions.
The tractor trail pioneered by the Canol engineers in 1943 was followed
to Fort Simpson where the airport at this date (20th April) was a sea of mud.
The thousand yard Liard River was crossed with a week to spare before break-up
on very rotten slush-covered ice. From here on the ice was always unsound
and an advance group of four men under Lieut. J. M. Croal, R.C.N.V.R. had
been sent ahead with a glider-borne Weasel to pioneer the route, strengthen
weak ice, and make bridges where needed.
The y had done their job well as the main body was able to follow fast
down the almost snowless trail.
The Petitot River was crossed on ice strengthened by corduroy and the
pioneer party was overtaken just before the Fort Nelson River, the last and
largest, was reached. Here break-up had just occurred and the ice was moving
downstream. As the river was too deep to be waded, a raft had to be constructed.

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

This was made from logs and empty drums dropped by the Air Force on the sand
flat and it floated the five-ten vehicles satisfactorily. Two days were
employed in crossing and a short length of muddy road brought the force
to Fort Nelson airport on the Alaska Highway.
Six days were left to reach Edmonton and with a supporting truck con–
voy the force expected a rapid easy run after the vast labors of twenty-five
hundred miles of cross-country work. But a new trouble arose. The warm
dry spring had reduced the gravel road's surface to dust, and inadequate
air intake filters (the originals had been discarded when they became clogged
with blown snow) caused this dust to penetrate the engines and bearing failure
and oil leaks soon occurred. After struggling with these breakdowns as far
as Grande Prairie in Alberta it was realized that no further lessons could
be learnt and only further delays caused by the worn engines. The force
accordingly transferred its vehicles to railway flat cars and the journey
to Edmonton was completed thus, arrival there being, as planned, on the
eighty-first day out from Churchill.
The exercise had been completed and many lessons learnt by the Army
and Air Force on arctic operations of small columns and aerial supplies.
The Canadian services had demonstrated an interest in their own great back
yard and the officers of allied countries traveling with the force and
observing the supply and base operations were able to convey these lessons
to their own superiors.
From the operations civilian interests in transport are certain to
develop. The Canadian snowmobile was proved satisfactory but by no means
the ultimate answer to speedy mechanised travel in the north country and
continued development and progress has been stimulated.

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

Perhaps the most important result of the venture was the wide publicity
given to the exercise and the awakening in the Canadian public and in particu–
lar in its youth of the existence of the enormous stretch of Canada's terri–
tories and the conditions prevailing there.
The observations of the scientific observers have helped to fill in
great gaps of knowledge along the route but have also posed fresh questions
to be answered in regard to magnetism, navigation and the physical character–
istics of ice and snow. Exercise Musk-Ox showed that a group of men properly
trained, equipped, and supplied according to twentieth-century knowledge
could move in rather ridiculous luxury over the routes in which Hearne,
Back, and Franklin toiled and suffered great hardship and casualties.

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

Itinerary
Distance Leg. in miles Distance Total Date
Churchill, Man. - - Feb. 15.
Eskimo Point, N.W.T. 206 206 arr. Feb. 20th
dep. " 22nd
Baker Lake, N.W.T. 265 471 arr. Mar. 1st
dep. " 6 th
Perry River, N.W.T. 372 843 arr. " 13 th
dep. " 14th
Cambridge Bay, N.W.T. 137 980 arr. " 15th
dep. " 18th
Denmark Bay, N.W.T. 123 1,103 arr. " 19th
dep. " 20th
Cambridge Bay, N.W.T. 117 1,220 arr. " 21st
dep. " 23rd
Coppermine, N.W.T. 306 1,526 arr. " 27th
dep. " 31st
Port Radium, N.W.T. 178 1,704 arr. Apr. 4th
dep. " 8th
Fort Norman, N.W.T. 263 1,967 arr. " 11th
dep. " 14th
Fort Simpson, N.W.T. 371 2,338 arr. " 20th
dep. " 23rd
Fort Nelson, B.C. 237 2,575 arr. " 29th
dep. May 1st
Grande Prairie, Alta. 394 2,969 arr. " 4th

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk-Ox

Personnel of Moving Force
Canadian Armed Forces
Lieut. Colonel P. D. Baird Commander
Major A. A. Wallace Second-in-Command
Captain E. V. Stewart Intelligence and later Second-in-Command
Captain R. F. Riddell Signals Officer
Captain E. I. Young Vehicle Officer
Captain W. H. Black Quartermaster
Captain R. Inglis Training Officer
Captain R. R. M. Croome Medical Officer
Lieut. P. W. Nasmyth Radar Officer
Lieut. R. W. Morton Photographic Officer
(Attached Officers)
Major A. G. Sangster Vehicle Observer
Lieut. J. P. Croal Naval Observer
Flying Officer H. P. Kent Royal Canadian Air Force Liaison Officer
Private J. M. Allan
Trooper J. P. Behrenz
Signalman M. L. Bourdon
Craftsman V. Breiddal
Corporal E. J. Brownrigg
Corporal E. J. Burkosky
Private A. Disley
Private J. D. Goforth
Corporal K. J. Goodenough
Corporal A. R. MacLean
Lance Cpl. A. B. Maloney
Craftsman J. C. Marazzo
Gunner A. D. Morton
Gunner E. B. Mowat
Corporal J. A. McBride
Signalman P. J. Nightingale
Craftsman J. L. Plumley
Craftsman W. J. Pashak
Sergeant C. R. J. Racine
Sergeant J. F. Sanderson
Sergeant V. J. Snider
Gunner V. L. Stoney
Staff Sgt. F. J. Way
Sergeant E. T. W. Williams
Private W. E. Wilson
British Army Observer
Lieut. Colonel N. A. C. Croft, D.S.O.

EA-Canada: General. Baird: Exercise Musk Ox

United States Observers
Colonel N. B. Edwards, A.U.S.
Lieut. Colonel E. G. Forrest, A.U.S.
Major A. Jackamn, A. [: ] .S.
Lieut. Commander M. C. Shelesnyak, U.S.N.R.
Mr. S. P. House, O.Q.M.G.
Canadian Civilian Observers
Mr. M. J. S. Innes Magnetician
Mr. G. A. McKay Meteorologist
Mr. G. D. Watson Physicist
Personnel taking part in some sections of the journey:
Colonel J. T. Wilson Deputy Director of Exercise
Major E. W. Cutbill, D.S.O. Air Liaison Officer
Mr. T. H. Manning (Geodetic Survey)
Lieut. Colonel W. A. Wood U.S.A.A.F.
P. D. Baird
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