Monday, November 09, 2009

Glad This Turned Out Okay

While its easy to romanticize about the North, there is an alternate reality. One that is much harsher. Certainly I am guilty of waxing poetic about Nunavut....its extreme temperatures and its rugged landscape. I've had my share of close calls out on the land I know a few others who have shared their stories of getting into tough situations. It doesn't take much to get you into trouble up there. The weather and the land can be highly unpredictable. I know even the most experienced of hunters have found themselves in a tough situation despite careful and calculated preparations. Consider what this kid went through.

I had an opportunity a couple years ago to meet a few youth from Coral Harbour when I was attending a badminton tournament in Rankin Inlet. Fantastic representatives for the community. Maybe the young lad in this story was there or maybe he was a friend of someone who was there. Who knows. All I'll say is that whoever this kid is, he deserves a lot of credit. (I know what I would have done had I been in the same situation, smack in the heart of polar bear country and it wouldn't be pretty). Nunavut youth get a lot of flak for many different reasons. But here's a kid who's survived an ordeal that would have killed a big city kid.

Hats off to the lad!


Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Interesting story. SO glad he was found. What a tragedy had he not been. And I can NOT believe the comments after the news article from people who think killing the polar bear was cruel? Are you kidding me? Tell me there really aren't people who value ANIMAL life above human? I'm all for avoiding senseless killing, but are there really that many people who are that clueless about Inuit culture, and the blood lust of polar bears for humans? Hard to imagine. Anyway, thanks for a great read.

Way Way Up said...

Dog Hair in my Coffee - Thanks for the comment. I could only read so many comments on the news article too before blood starting coming out of my ears. Urbanites can be so ignorant. I can vouch first hand that it is not part of Inuit culture to kill just for the sake of killing. In fact, I recall an incident a few years ago when I was in Qikiqtarjuaq. A young hunter had shot a bear and an elder who was very respected in the community was quite upset this hunter had killed it since it was a pretty young bear. He let it be known that this was not respectful of the animal or their culture. HIs words must have had some effect because polar bears are quite a common occurrence in that part of the territory and for the rest of the time I was there I only recall hearing of adult bears being harvested. Certainly I saw enough skins being stretched to know that very few young bears were taken. But here I'm starting to ramble again.......