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MAKKOVIK’S POWER MOVE Cheers to Beers in Lab West

Adrenaline Rush Excitement building for Cain’s Quest

Sheldon Tuck photo

Horses & Healing


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Published by Downhome Inc. 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3 1-888-588-6353 • www.insidelabrador.ca

Editor Janice Stuckless Assistant Editor Katherine Saunders Art Director Vince Marsh Graphic and Web Designer Cory Way Distribution and Subscription Representatives Amanda Ricks, Marlena Grant, Kathleen Murphy, Nicola Ryan

Advertising Sales Senior Account Manager Robert Saunders Account Manager Barbara Young Marketing Director Tiffany Boone Publisher and CEO Grant Young President and Associate Publisher Todd Goodyear General Manager and Assistant Publisher Tina Bromley

To subscribe, renew or change address use the contact information above.

Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement #40062919 The advertiser agrees that the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising out of errors in advertisements beyond the amount paid for the space actually occupied by the portion of the advertisement in which the error occurred, whether such error is due to the negligence of the servants or otherwise, and there shall be no liability beyond the amount of such advertisement. Pen names and anonymous letters will not be published. The publisher reserves the right to edit, revise, classify, or reject any advertisement or letter. © 2020 Downhome Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher.

Printed in Canada

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50 table of contents 6 Editor’s Note 8 Expedition Unknown Travelling the Trans-Labrador Highway

14 Views of St. Lewis A photo essay

18 Spilling the Labrador Tea The history of the well-known plant

22 Good Food for All Creating food security in Labrador

28 Readers’ Photo Album 30 A New Craft for Labrador

8 49 Readers’ Photo Album 50 The Rush of Labrador Adrenaline

Iron Rock Brewing

The lure of Cain’s Quest racing

34 Power Move

58 Our Unique Northern Way of Life

Solar energy in Makkovik

38 Horses for Hope Equine therapy in HVGB

44 Trick or Treasure? A Labrador fishery mystery 4

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An essay by Grade 8 students

62 A Novel Discovery H.G. Wells’ story about the Big Land

64 Photo Finish WINTER 2020


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“Once nature has been destroyed, there is no getting it back… it is a once in a lifetime gift from Mother Nature – our Earth, our Home. If we destroy our Home, where do we live?” A poignant question posed by Grade 8 students at the Mushuau Innu Natuashish School, in their essay about their unique Northern life (see p. 58). Labradorians are likely the first in the province to feel the effects of climate change and pollution on the land, in the water and in the air – the health of all three is critical to their everyday lives as they travel, hunt and forage in traditional ways. Now some of these communities are setting examples for the rest of us in how to live healthier lifestyles for themselves and their environment. On p. 22, we learn how people in Rigolet and Hopedale have adopted programs to improve the affordability and availability of nutritious and locally sourced food. And on p. 34 we check in with Makkovik, and learn about the new solar power system they’ve installed that reduces the community’s carbon footprint and electricity bill. Innovation exists all over Labrador, from the Labrador Sea coast, to the Strait of Belle Isle and the border with Quebec. In Labrador West, locals are toasting a new venture that deviates from, but pays homage to, the iron ore industry there (see p. 30). In central Labrador, a couple has found a warm and fuzzy way to help those in need of a spiritual and mental boost (see p. 38). Labrador is a land of rich heritage, exciting adventures, warm people – and four languages. Atelihai (Inuktitut) Pitukaieu (Innu-aimun) Bienvenue (French) Welcome (English), Janice Stuckless Editor Inside Labrador janice@downhomelife.com 6

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WHAT DO YOU IMAGINE when you hear this name, “Labrador”? Wilderness, indigenous people, bad roads, snow and wild animals. You may laugh, but for us Europeans, 200 kilometres of forest is “pure wilderness”! For two-and-a-half years we have been travelling around the world, and we love exploring remote areas. In every country we look for lonely routes to discover the land and its nature, far away from tourist traps. The Trans-Labrador Highway seemed to be exactly what we were looking for in the summer of 2019. Here is a diary of our adventure. 8

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Day 1 The sun shines through the windows and tickles our faces. After many days of rain, today is the perfect day to start our journey on the Trans-Labrador Highway at Blanc-Sablon. We stock up on diesel and groceries, and borrow a satellite phone, which we have to return when we reach Labrador City (between towns there is no cellular network coverage). As our old Volkswagen Vanagon is a 1988 model and spare parts are very difficult to get, we gladly accept this offer of a phone.

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For the first few kilometeres we enjoy the green, sparkling landscape and we are happy about the paved road. Our first destination is Iceberg Alley. We drive to the most easterly drivable point on mainland North America, where we are so excited about seeing the icebergs. Back on the Trans-Labrador Highway, we are listening to music and enjoying the first warm, summer evening. Suddenly I see a bear directly at the side of the road! We slow down and stop the van. There are just 10 metres between us and the bear. We watch from behind closed windows as he chews on fresh buds along the roadside. Suddenly he turns his head around and stares at us. Curious, he comes closer and walks slowly behind our vehicle. We are not sure if he is disturbed by us, so we decide to drive on. But before we can move we hear a noise at our rear. The bear is leaning on our Vanagon and is pretty interested in our green watering can attached to our spare tire. After a while he

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steps back about a metre, raises his head and stretches his nose in our direction. Slowly the bear comes closer again and stops right next to the passenger door and stares at us. We are quiet, even Jago, and watch him in interest. We have never seen such a wild animal so close before. Minutes pass by and none of us moves. Then approaching cars make him disappear into the nearby forest. We drive on, our hearts still beating slightly faster from this intense experience. After a while the paved road ends and the gravel one begins. We choose a beautiful remote spot on the side of the road to spend the night. We watch the sun slowly set. A very short step outside makes us jump back inside for cover. Wow! There aren’t thousands, no, there are millions of black flies out there! Our white van turns black in seconds. A half-hour later the same amount of mosquitoes are inside with us and we dread the night.

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Day 2 Completely overtired, our bodies covered by countless bites, we crawl out of bed with the first sunrays. A look out the window tells us that the black flies and mosquitoes are already awake and waiting for us. Well, I guess we will have breakfast on the road! Our next destination is Cartwright. After the first 30 bumpy kilometres we stop to release the tire pressure. With lower pressure, the tire contact area is larger and the drive is smoother. Around noon we reach Cartwright and refuel our diesel tanks and have lunch. The weather is still beautiful and we keep on driving to see more of this breathtaking landscape.

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Days 3-10 The next day begins with drizzle and a strange noise from the engine compartment. “That doesn’t sound good,” Benny mumbles. Happy Valley-Goose Bay is just 100 kilometres away, so we keep driving. After the unplanned bear visit a couple days ago, Benny really doesn’t want to work under the car in the middle of nowhere. Near Happy Valley-Goose Bay we find a former campground that looks to be still in good shape. And the stinging and biting insects are clearly

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less dense here, so we decide to stay for a few days. While we’re parked, Benny localizes the issue causing the strange engine noise: the whole engine compartment is littered with gravel. Unfortunately, the gravel also damaged and blasted the paint off the fenders. After three days working on the Vanagon, we take a break and enjoy a bit of summer. Day 11 After one week in the beautiful heart of Labrador, we get everything packed to leave. There are only 600 km to the

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provincial border with Quebec. Since the road is paved again, we make good progress and reach Churchill Falls in the rainy afternoon. There we enjoy our first hot shower on this trip. (Our water is heated by solar power; due to a lot of rainy and cloudy days, this hot shower is one of our highlights.) In the early evening, we find a nice overnight place directly next to the grandiose Churchill River.

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Day 12 The next day, we arrive in Labrador City and return the (fortunately not needed) satellite phone. We refill our diesel tanks and get some groceries. In the late afternoon, we cross the border to Quebec, happy to have made this trip without any bigger issues – but also sad because a fantastic trip has come to an end.

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A PHOTO ESSAY BY MANDY POOLE

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“THIS IS MY HOMETOWN,”

writes Mandy Poole in an email to Inside Labrador. “I’m 33 now, but I lived in St. Lewis for 20 years and [still] visit several times a year.” According to a regional website, SouthernLabrador.ca, St. Lewis is “the most easterly permanent community on the North American mainland,” making it a terrific vantage point for watching icebergs. It’s also one of the earliest settlements in Labrador to appear on a map (1502). Most of the approximately 220 residents, like Mandy, identify as south Inuit, or NunatuKavut. “Our family has lived off of our renewable resources for as long as records were kept, and before,” she writes. “My family were fisher people, and I partake in the annual July-August salmon fishery every year. Another big event for us is seasonal berrypicking.” There is a K-12 school in St. Lewis, and Mandy estimates there are less than 50 school-aged kids in the community. The main employer was the crab processing plant. Since that shut down, most people work on the highways or at Muskrat Falls. “It’s not easy living. Fresh food is scarce. Many homes are not hooked into town water and have to gather water in barrels/buckets to use at home (my family included, even now in 2019),” writes Mandy. “My dad [Eric], pictured in a few of these images, is what I consider a ‘maker.’ He’s very clever and hardworking. There’s nothing he can’t fix. From an early age that was something I was taught from him: fix anything you can before deciding to go new.”

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As photos can often express things better than words can, here’s a selection of photos Mandy took during a visit to St. Lewis in August 2019.

Fresh catch from a successful afternoon on the From boat to table in the same morning: pan-fried salmon and spawn, with mustard water and vegetable salads, and homemade bread.

Many women in the Poole family are quite skilled with knitting socks, mittens, sweaters and hats, as well as making blankets.

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Stored wood, the traditional way of keeping timber dry and accessible

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Eric Poole, maker: town maintenance man, former trail groomer operator and fisherman.

Brothers Eric and Barry Poole, setting a net during the seasonal NunatuKavut salmon fishery

Returning home before sundown, another successful day at the nets

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BY CIARA HODGE

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When I was young,

my favourite activity as a child was trudging through the thick woods of Labrador, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. My friends and I and would find open spaces to use our imaginations and play games such as “house,” where we would to go to “work,” “cook food” and “make clothes.” We gathered up items in the wooded area around us and used them as props. When we’d pretend to cook, we’d collect leaves of the Labrador tea plant – along with twigs, mud, rocks etc. – and use them as ingredients in our makeshift “soup.” My friends and I would use the white flowers of the Labrador tea for our bouquets, to spruce up our wooded area. Little did we know of the actual history and folklore of Labrador tea. It was a plant that I knew was safe, but I never knew its importance. Labrador tea, scientifically known as Rhododendron groenlandicum, is also called Hudson’s Bay tea. It is a very hardy plant, often found growing in high elevations in northern Canada. It is especially found in boggy patches. The plant grows low to the

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ground and its small leaves, which are curled around the edges, make it easy to distinguish. One side of the leaf is matte dark green and leathery looking; the undersurface is brown and fuzzy, a lot like suede. It has adapted to survive the long, unforgivingly cold winters and very hot summers of Labrador. Summertime, it blooms in white flowers. The plant’s leaves, when muddled between two rocks, release a fragrant scent. The plant gets its common name, Labrador tea, from the region where it grows; but its other name, Hudson’s Bay tea, is derived from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading history with the plant and the Innu, through the use of handmade tea dolls. These dolls were

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made and stuffed by the Innu people with Labrador tea, for easy transport with their traditional migratory lifestyle of the late 1800s to the mid- to late 1900s. The dolls were carried by the children as they journeyed. At the trading posts, the dolls were emptied of their Labrador tea, which was traded for furs or other goods. The dolls were then restuffed, either with loose black tea from the trading post or with grass, so the children were able to keep their dolls. There was always a tea doll lying around my house as a child. I was fascinated by them, and completely mesmerized by their beautiful clothing and wonderful smell. They were exceptionally fragrant, the scent of the tea

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leaves mixing with the smell of the caribou skin they were made from. They were beautifully decorated dolls, with handmade outfits and beadwork designed to mimic authentic Innu clothing of the men, women and children. Some dolls had additional details, such as carrying smaller dolls or a backpack, which were also stuffed with loose tea. The making of a tea doll is a contemporary way for the Innu to preserve their culture. Creating their own clothes with caribou hide was a way of life for Innu women, so creating a miniature version for their children must have been something that came naturally. The men of the communities hunt and skin the caribou, and the women teach the children how to create these masterful, intricate dolls, passing on the information verbally so they can one day do the same with

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their families. Far outside traditional Innu uses, the Labrador tea plant is becoming more popular in the cosmetics industry. Major cosmetic company Lise Watier (headquartered in Quebec) is using it in their “age control” serums. According to the company website www.lisewatier.com, “An extremely potent antioxidant, [Labrador tea] combats free radicals caused by pollution and UV rays, all while reducing the visible signs of aging.” Not only is the plant good for protecting your skin, Labrador tea is also used in homeopathy and folklore medicine to treat common cold symptoms, such as sore throat, chest congestion, muscle pain and headache. When I was growing up, it was the best all-in-one cold remedy in Labrador and many other parts of Canada.

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Through programs like the Good Food Box and other initiatives, remote coastal communities in Labrador are tackling food security challenges head-on. BY LINDA BROWNE

Bird’s Eye Inc photos

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LABRADORIANS ARE A RESILIENT and resourceful people of the land and sea. Over the years, everything from smoking, drying and canning, to hunting, fishing and berry picking have been common items in survival toolkits. But over time, things like changing demographics, social and economic shifts and climate change have joined forces to interrupt our food systems in ways we might not have previously imagined, putting our food security at risk. What is food security? According to Food First NL (a non-profit organization that works to address food security issues in Newfoundland and Labrador), food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to adequate amounts of safe, healthy, culturally appropriate food. But here in this province, the organization states, about 13.4 per cent of households are food insecure. We import about 90 per cent of the fresh vegetables we eat, and if ferries are delayed, that leaves us with just a two to three day supply. Because of this, we eat less fruits and vegetables than people in other provinces do, and we have the highest rates of diabetes and hearts attacks in the country. It’s a first-place position that nobody wants to occupy. While food security affects the island portion of the province, the impact can be felt more acutely in

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coastal Labrador, so much so that it makes the news. In 2017, for example, the CBC reported on exorbitant food prices in Labrador’s Inuit communities, with cans of soup and bottles of juice coming in at $7 and $17, respectively, in Nain; and in 2008, a news story about a $38 watermelon made headlines. When it comes to the challenges these northern communities face and how to overcome them, nobody understands it better than the people on the ground who live through it day to day. That’s why Food First NL, through their “Our Food NL” project, has initiated a number of Community-Led Food Assessments (CLFAs) in various remote and rural places such as Rigolet, Hopedale and other communities in Nunatsiavut. And with increased attention on food security in recent years, people have started taking action.

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THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX In Rigolet, says AngajukKâk Charlotte Wolfrey, food insecurity boils down to affordability and availability. There’s not a lot of local jobs, wages are low, and the items that people can afford to buy from the one grocery store in town are often not the highest quality. Food is delivered via ferry or plane, so if bad weather or mechanical issues strike, there’s not going to be much to fill a grocery cart.

deal with the high cost and poor availability of nutritious food. Through the program, residents can order items in bulk once a month directly from a wholesaler, sharing the shipping costs (with the Nutrition North subsidy applied). One year, Nature’s Best Farm in Happy Valley-Goose Bay supplied the produce for the boxes. Lately, Multi-Foods and Terrington Consumers Co-op in Happy Valley-Goose Bay have supplied the frozen meat. The boxes, Wolfrey adds, come in

In Rigolet, says AngajukKâk Charlotte Wolfrey, the food security problem boils down to affordability and availability. “The issue with food from the store, and even with [food] from the land, is affordability. Because if you’re going to go hunting, you’ve still got to have gas to go hunting, and you still got to buy a box of bullets, and you got to have a gun, and you got to have a Skidoo if it’s in the winter,” she says over the phone from her office. About six years ago, the Good Food Box program was established to help

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several sizes to suit various needs and incomes, and residents can order individual bulk items such as a turkey, or cases of pork chops and chicken breasts. According to Food First NL’s report, “Our Food NL: Stories, Successes and Lessons from 2010-18,” 64 per cent of the community had used the Good Food Box program within three months of the first box being shipped in 2014, and 63 is the all-time

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high number of boxes ordered in one month. As a result of the program, the report adds, food prices and quality have also improved at the local store. “It’s been really successful. And I’d say there’s at least every month, when we do the order, 15 participants – sometimes more, sometimes a little less,” Wolfrey says. “It’s a great way to get good quality food, because that’s what we get when we get it.” CONNECTING TO CULTURE The Good Food Box program isn’t the only way that Rigolet residents are taking control of their food security. Several years ago, they joined Food First NL in rolling out a backyard gardening program. “Some people already gardened a little bit in Rigolet, and so we had a master gardener teaching an apprentice how to garden. So it started like that, and now those apprentices are teaching other people how to garden,” says Wolfrey, who has hopes for a community greenhouse in the future. “There are people that do their own gardens every year now, and they’re mostly raised bed gardens and, you know, potatoes and carrots and turnip and greens and strawberries and things like that.” And then, Wolfrey says, there’s the community freezer program. About a decade ago, the freezer was established to help get wild foods onto the tables of those who may not otherwise have access – reflecting the spirit of giving and sharing that’s common in communities along the coast. “We would give [the food] to the elderly, people with low incomes, widows... and people who couldn’t hunt for themselves or didn’t have any means to get wild food. That’s how it WINTER 2020

Goose Bay

www.cafconnection.ca gbmfrc@nf.sympatico.ca P.O. Box 69, Station C Goose Bay, NL A0P-1C0 (709) 896-6900 ext.6060 (709) 896-6916 (fax)

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Good Food Box program coordinator Angela Blake (left) and Rigolet resident Eldred Allen unpack a Good Food Box. started off, and then someone else took over the program and it became a community program.” When the Kuvianattuvik Community Centre was completed in 2014, it included a walk-in freezer. Every second Wednesday, Wolfrey says,

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any resident can access food from the freezer, the contents of which depend upon the season. “Today, for example, people can get char and they can get a choice of cod heads or cod fillets,” Wolfrey says, adding that they also do community

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giveaways from time to time, where people can take home things like bakeapples and redberries. “We’ll buy berries locally if people got them to sell, but we also got a supplier that we use in Southern Labrador… and we usually have a supplier from North West River that provides us with partridges. They have access to ptarmigan. And around here, in the springtime, we can purchase seal from people.” Since the ban on hunting caribou, Wolfrey adds, the Nunatsiavut government has acquired licences to hunt moose in Newfoundland, which are then processed and brought back for the community freezer. But it’s not just Rigolet that’s finding inventive solutions for the food security problem. Hopedale has been touted by Food First NL as the “trailblazer” of their Our Food NL project (for

being the first in the province to test the CLFA model) and, similarly, has developed a community gardening program and expanded their community freezer program. Students at Hopedale’s Amos Comenius Memorial School use a greenhouse and hydroponic systems to grow things like lettuce, tomatoes and peas. But it’s perhaps the close ties and enduring spirit of generosity in these communities that hold the key for a food-secure future. “My husband, he’ll kill a couple of extra geese when he can in the fall, and then he’ll give it to maybe a widow or an elderly couple or something like that,” Wolfrey says. “We always share our food with our family, but I’m talking about something extra. You know somebody don’t have it, so you just take it and give it to them. That’s a cultural thing that we’ve always done.”

Member of Parliament for Labrador

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Readers’ Photo Album

Snow Shelter

This cozy cabin on the Trans-Labrador Trail is maintained by the White Wolf Snowmobile club of Labrador City and provides a refuge to brew up and get out of the cold. JIM STANTON Labrador City, NL

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White Wonder

Don O’Leary snapped this photo near his home in Wabush. DONNA ALLARD Wabush, NL

Springtime in Labrador

Talk about an ice breaker! This photo was taken off Cape Makkovik. ELIZABETH EVANS-MITCHELL Makkovik, NL

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Iron Rock is creating a local buzz by serving up something fresh. BY KATHERINE SAUNDERS

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LAB WEST HAS A NEW HANGOUT, a first for the Big

Land: a craft brewery in Labrador City. Iron Rock Brewing sounds like a name straight from “Game of Thrones,” but it’s actually a nod to the mining history of Lab West.

The brewery boasts an inviting taproom with a stage, and an industrial motif to reflect the environment in which it is located – patrons rest their feet on pieces of railway and read signs cut from sheet metal. The brewery, which opened last October, is a year-round spot where workers and locals can go for a pint after their shift, or unwind on the weekend and try a craft brew that they won’t get anywhere else.

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Dave and Brian Hurley, brothers who grew up on Bell Island and moved to Labrador City 10 years ago for work, are the duo at the helm of Iron Rock Brewing. Brian holds a master’s degree in business administration, and Dave is a pipefitter by trade. Their father was a home brewer and Dave followed in his footsteps, developing his own recipes. “I was always playing around with home brewing, making wine kits and

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homemade this and homemade that,” Dave explains. A few years ago, Dave had the opportunity to travel to St. John’s to spend a day with a brewmaster at Mill Street Brewery. It convinced him to take his interests further. The two brothers put their skills together to develop their craft brewing business. Iron Rock uses a seven-barrel brewery system, and at 120 litres per barrel, they can make a lot of ale. Dave reveals what gives their craft beer its great taste: their system is highly automated, allowing them to standardize their product and make a consistent brew every time. Dave also attributes the flavour to the high-quality water in Labrador City. And they use locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. Iron Rock has seven brews on tap, some of which were inspired by recipes Dave used to make at home. The brothers worked with a consultant based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia to upscale their family recipes. “We wanted to have something for everybody, in the sense that we wanted to have a good range of beer to expand and broaden people’s palates,” explains Dave. While many of their new patrons

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have little experience with craft beer, Brian and Dave are enthusiastic about helping people find their favourite flavour. The brothers had support from the community before they even opened. They hired locals in the skilled trades to help build the taproom, and folks in town would stop by regularly to see how it was going, eagerly awaiting the

And it’s not only people in Lab West who support the brewery – they’ve had orders for Iron Rock branded merchandise from all over the country. day when the ales would start flowing. And it’s not only people in Lab West who support the brewery – they’ve had orders for Iron Rock branded merchandise from all over the country, from people who have spent time in Labrador at various points in their lives. According to Brian, people identify with the brand they have created. “We’ve got a lot of champions, for sure,” he says. The Hurley brothers are working in conjunction with Gateway Labrador,

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a winter tourism destination, and the Hurleys hope visitors take advantage of their taproom for an après ski with some very local beers. And in March, they are setting up a projection screen so people can gather to watch the Cain’s Quest snowmobile endurance race. Brian and Dave are enthusiastic about the brewery boom in Newfoundland, and they would like to see it catch on in Labrador. In just a few short months, Iron Rock Brewing has become quite popular and has found its place in modern Labrador culture. They are selling hoodies, shirts, hats and locally printed stickers, and their customers are eager to partake in the brand identity. Their new business has created a welcome buzz in the mining towns of Labrador City and Wabush. “There’s a lot of optimism up in the area now,” Brian says, “and we’re providing an experience that wasn’t here before.” the local tourism centre, to offer a new experience for visitors to Lab West. They are excited to offer something different in a mainly industrial region that can help bolster the tourism economy. Labrador is largely

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Iron Rock Brewing can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ironrockbrewingco, and they’re on Untapped, the mobile app directory for breweries.

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How Makkovik is using solar energy to combat electricity bills and climate change BY KATHERINE SAUNDERS

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The community of Makkovik is thinking about the future, and improving the present, with an innovative new project – four solar panels on the roof of the Makkovik Arena. Installed in late 2019, the solar panels power the arena, reducing both the community’s electricity bill and carbon emissions. Even better, the solar panels power more than just the arena. The Nunatsiavut government applied to NL Hydro’s net metering program, an incentive for customers to generate energy using small-scale renewable resources. All surplus energy created by the solar panels goes back into the grid using a bi-directional meter. The redistributed electricity then powers other buildings in Makkovik. “It will reduce the [arena’s] carbon footprint for sure, by burning less diesel at the power plant. We’ll be

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producing a bit more energy and putting it back out to our local grid,” says AngajukKak Barry Andersen. He estimates the solar power system will save about 11,000-14,000 litres of diesel fuel – and about $10,000 – per year. The system can produce up to 50 kilowatts of electricity. The maximum allowable energy production for NL Hydro’s net metering program is 100 kilowatts, which opens up the possibility of adding panels to double Makkovik’s energy production. The North may seem to be an

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unlikely place to produce solar power, but Makkovik is one of several northern communities in Canada that have turned to renewable energy because it is actually an ideal solution for remote locations. While people, businesses and communities all over Newfoundland and Labrador are feeling the impact of the high cost of electricity, for northern communities, the costs are even greater because shipping fuel and building infrastructure are expensive in remote areas. Solar panels, meanwhile, require little to no maintenance and do not need a fuel source, so additional supply shipments are not required. “There’s no batteries, so there’s no maintenance. We don’t have to worry about having to store dangerous batteries around town, recycle them or move them out of town,” says Andersen. And, unlike many northern communities, Makkovik does not experience a polar night during the winter months – the sun is weaker, but it still rises daily. In the summer, it is strong enough to power the arena and generate extra electricity to keep the lights on year-round. The arena also consumes less power during the summer, when the ice rink is not in use, contributing to the surplus energy.

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The entire project cost about $260,000, which covered permits, equipment, shipping and installation. Makkovik received financial support from the Nunatsiavut government and the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity (REACHE) program under Indigenous Affairs Canada. Green Sun Rising, a contractor experienced in installing solar panels in northern communities, completed the project in two weeks. Installation was relatively easy, according to Andersen. “They didn’t drill holes in the roof or anything like that, it’s all just clamped on to the metal ridges,” he says. In addition to the cost-saving rewards of this project, solar panels are a clean alternative to burning fossil fuels, which is a significant contributing factor to global carbon emissions. Northern communities are among the first in Canada to directly experience the impacts of climate change, such as changing weather patterns and melting permafrost. The use of solar panels highlights Makkovik as a leader in clean energy in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Andersen expects that it will catch on throughout the province. “I’ve had a call from

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Makkovik students get a lesson in solar power technology. St. Anthony already,” he reports. “People are very much in favour of the solar panels and the initiative to cut down on costs.” Within the community, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, Andersen says, particularly from the families who use the arena on a regular basis. And students were treated to a presentation on how the solar panels work and the benefits they bring to the community, both financial and environmental. “People are very interested, especially the parents of the hockey players,” he says. “We all realize that the arena is a very expensive place to operate.” And everyone can see for themselves

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how well the solar panels are performing. A monitor in the arena shows how much power is being generated in real time, and the information is available through a link on the town’s website, Makkovik.ca, on the Recreation page. Also shown is the reduction in carbon emissions over time, and the amount of money the town has saved on a monthly and annual basis. With its incorporation of green energy at one of the community’s major facilities, Makkovik is an example of how even the smallest community can play a role in mitigating climate change and taking charge of its own future.

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A casual equine therapy facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay offers help to those who need it most. BY ASHLEY MILLER

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THERE IS NO MEDICAL DEGREE hanging on the wall, no therapist’s couch and no prescription pad. There is, however, an abundance of hope inside one barn in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Horses For Hope Center-Labrador is a registered non-profit organization offering casual equine therapy primarily to individuals struggling with mental health. It’s owned and operated by Tina and Jim Barrett, though the couple insists the place is truly run by their three hoofed “therapists”: horses Reese, Nevaeh and Eli. “We are only poop shovellers,” says Tina, laughing. “The horses do all the work.” While the Barretts have long welcomed nearby children and animal lovers into their barn, about two years ago they felt compelled to go a step further. In late 2017, a local healthcare professional inquired about visiting their barn with a client who wasn’t thriving in the clinical setting. The Barretts agreed. “You could feel the transformation from the time she came to the time she left,” remembers Tina of that initial

session. “After the visit I said to my husband, ‘My goodness, we could be helping more people like this.’” And so they have. They’ve since hosted individuals struggling with issues ranging from autism and anxiety to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A typical session might involve grooming, leading the horses or learning to feed the animals. They aren’t a riding facility, but they do allow short horseback rides, especially if folks are struggling to connect to the animal. In addition to these one-on-one

Left: Jim and Tina Barrett and their newest addition, Eli the Clydesdale

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interactions, Horses For Hope entertains local Special Olympics athletes, organizes seniors’ events, holds youth anti-bullying workshops and caters to companies seeking to promote mental wellness among staff. No matter the situation, their herd of animals – which also includes two goats, four dogs and four hens – are always obliging. But it’s the horses that are the real draw. When confronted with a crowd of people, Tina swears their trio of equines has the uncanny ability to sense which individuals are suffering most – often lingering in their presence or reaching out to make physical contact. (That claim might sound far-fetched; however, numerous studies suggest horses are, in fact, able to read human emotion.) “They’re prey animals, so they always feel like they’re hunted and vulnerable. Their emotions are very, very strong, and they pick up on and mirror people’s emotions,” says Tina. A real estate agent by day, Tina admits

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Special Olympian Wesley MacDonald gets a little love from Reese. she sometimes pulls up a lawn chair and sits in the middle of the horse paddock to de-stress. While the Barretts are quick to point out that they are not therapists, they do have personal experience with some of the issues their visitors face; Tina suffers from ADHD, while Jim (a medevac pilot) has PTSD. “We can relate to the families and to the individuals because we can say first-hand that we have the experience,” says Tina.

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Above: The staff of Nunacor enjoy an outing to Horses for Hope. Left: Nevaeh might be small, but she has lots of love to give.

HOPE ON HOOVES So far, Tina says the feedback they’ve received about Horses For Hope has been overwhelmingly positive. One woman, in particular, insists the facility saved her daughter’s life. Choking back tears, the mom of two from Central Labrador says there was a time she feared her child would not

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live to see high school graduation. “My daughter was traumatically bullied from Grade 8 to Grade 12,” begins Susan* (*a pseudonym used at her request to protect her daughter from further emotional turmoil). At school, Susan says, her daughter was taunted in hallways, pushed into lockers and whipped with skipping ropes. After school, the bullying continued online via social media. The abuse eventually manifested itself as social anxiety and PTSD.

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Like many of the folks who visit Horses For Hope, Tina finds she's happiest when surrounded by her animals. “We went through seven or eight suicide attempts,” says a tearful Susan, adding her daughter also frequently cut herself. “She was very shy, very quiet, didn’t really like being in public, didn’t really like being anywhere – and then all of a sudden this interest came for the horse,” says Susan. At the time, the Barretts only owned one horse, Reese, and Horses For Hope did not yet exist. The Barretts had no idea back then how much those visits meant; Susan’s daughter was one of the many animal lovers they regularly welcomed into their barn. While the girl was seeking conventional mental health services (which, in Susan’s opinion, are severely lacking in their area), nothing seemed to help the way her visits to the barn did. “We didn’t look at it as therapy. All

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we knew is that our daughter had this bond,” says Susan, adding her daughter has since developed a special relationship with the other animals, and with Jim and Tina. Not only did Susan’s daughter go on to graduate high school, she’s since moved away to attend university. While she still suffers the effects of social anxiety and PTSD, she is thriving with the help of medication and regular counselling. And when she does have bad days, she contacts Tina to check in on the animals that helped her through the darkest times. Even now, when she returns home between semesters, she makes a beeline from the airport to the Barretts’ barn, says Susan. Reese, Nevaeh and Eli are quick to remember their special friend, and begin competing for her attention.

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“People need to know that these horses, the goats, the dogs, Jim and Tina – they’re all responsible for saving my daughter’s life,” says Susan, who is quick to recommend Horses For Hope to anyone in need of help. And the Barretts hope to be able to help many, many more people in the years to come. They have dreams of acquiring more land on which they’d love to build an arena – a place where folks could enjoy their animals out of the weather. At press time in November, they were training their Clydesdale, Eli, to pull a wheelchair-accessible sleigh – enabling them to offer hope to even more people. “We just see a need. In our community the suicide rate is just phenomenal. In the northern climate we have seasonal [affective] disorder; but not only that, it’s isolation, and a lot of it is substance abuse and that kind of thing. There are a lot of hurting

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people up this way,” says Tina. With that in mind, the Barretts try not to turn anyone away, and they don’t charge a fee (though they do hold fundraisers and accept donations to help with the expense of shipping in hay). They have no employees and no volunteers, preferring to run the organization by themselves to ensure the privacy of their patrons. Although running Horses For Hope adds to their already busy lives, the Barretts say it’s more than worth it. And as Susan watches her daughter become an independent young adult, she couldn’t be more grateful for the Barretts’ efforts. “There is a smile on my daughter’s face,” says Susan. “Nothing is more important.” To learn about upcoming fundraisers and community events, or to donate, visit Horses For Hope Center-Labrador on Facebook.

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One fishing trip on the Labrador that is remembered for many strange things, and none related to fish BY DENNIS FLYNN

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JACK FLYNN stares out with

a piercing gaze and keeps his own council. Neatly attired in a crisp, white dress shirt with the sleeves precisely rolled to just below the elbow, a dark bow tie, pressed black slacks and leather shoes shined to a brilliance, he sits with left leg over the right in the pose of someone relaxed yet ready to hop up to work at a moment’s notice. In this, the only photo I have of my grandfather, he was around 27 years old and in the United States.

While he liked to dress up for special occasions, he was a worker well accustomed to hard physical labour. It is said he started work at age 12, sharpening hand saws, chisels, adzes, axes, knives and all manner of cutting tools for tradesmen on job sites until he grew big enough to join the workers himself. In his working life, he spent up to 11 months of the year away from home, following employment wherever it was found to provide for his family. This made for an eclectic and amazing series of jobs, travels, close calls and adventures. Though naturally quiet, when the mood struck him, he was an incredible storyteller who could hold a house full of visitors enthralled. One of the most beloved of Jack Flynn’s stories

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took place many years ago, somewhere on the Labrador. I recently asked my father, Tony Flynn, who lives in Colliers, on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, to tell me again this story as his father had told him and others. “The Labrador fishery was a big thing in those days, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, so many people from all over the island, and especially here in the Conception Bay area, regularly went there to fish all summer and return home in the late fall,” my father begins. This particular story happened during a trip in bad weather and even worse fishing. “They were on an old sailing schooner that had been socked in with fog for days on end,” he says.

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They were inching their way along the coast, sailing in and out of fjords and around islands. If the captain knew where they were, he might have been the only one. They were sailing closely by a sheer mountain of rock when they spied a little opening and a cove beyond it. They were in need of a sheltered place to anchor, to source some fresh water and firewood, and maybe catch some wild game, so they launched a dory to check it out. “It turned out the natural opening could accommodate the passage of the schooner when towed around the double bend by men in the longboat,” Tony says. Once they were inside they saw something most curious. The horseshoe-shaped harbour ringed in by mist-covered mountains led to a vast beach at the far end of the cove. Instead of being covered with sand or

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rocks, this strand was blanketed with seashells. They dug down just to see how far it went, and it ranged from several feet deep to maybe 20 feet or more deep in places. It was a bizarre find and they’d never seen anything like it. Sizing up the situation, one crewmember suggested that the seashells could be used for a multitude of things, from jewelry and hen’s scratch to being ground down and used in fertilizers and maybe even munitions. Since they’d had no sign of cod and weren’t making any money on this trip, why not harvest the shells and bring them back to Newfoundland to sell wherever they could? Better to travel back with something in the hold than nothing. Nobody had a better idea, so the captain gave the order and the men began digging up the shell beach. They loaded the dory

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and sent it back to the schooner anchored in the cove. “So that is how Father came to be involved in what he called prosecuting the shell fishery,” Tony says. “It all went smooth enough for a few days,

and saw writing carved into the rock: “Roll Me Over, and Then…” My grandfather said he climbed the rock, too, and saw the inscription for himself. The news set the crew abuzz. Could there be pirate treasure under

One of the crew climbed up on top of the rock to get a better view of the area and got quite the shock when he looked down and saw writing carved into the rock: “Roll Me Over, and Then…” and while it was hard work at least they were ashore and safe, so nobody complained much.” They’d almost harvested as many shells as the hold could take when they ventured a little farther inland and came upon a giant boulder. One of the crew climbed up on top of the rock to get a better view of the area and got quite the shock when he looked down

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this lone, giant rock on a stretch of seashells? “So with the gold fever upon them all, the captain gave the order and they gave up harvesting shells and took in with all the energy they could, to roll that rock,” my father says. This turned out to be easier said than done. Ropes and pulleys, blocks and tackles, levers, wedges, pry bars,

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sledgehammers, and even an attempt to burn it and douse it with cold water in order to spit it into smaller parts, all failed. Then someone suggested they dig a hole next to the boulder big enough to hold it, and let gravity push it over and in when the last few feet of dirt were poked away. It worked, and with the rock off its spot, the men dug into the dirt it had laid upon. They dug for hours hoping to find a treasure chest, but found nothing at all. Finally they all took a break and the nimblest crewman climbed upon the bottom of the rock to see if there were any other clues. There was a message, and not a good one. “Father said the men all took to cursing and moaning, and tossed their caps on the ground and kicked up seashells,” Tony says. The message newly revealed on the upended bottom of the rock proclaimed: “Old Men Make Young Men Fools, Roll

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Me Back Again.” The men were heartbroken, but the captain took to laughing. He thought it was the grandest joke and insisted they return the rock to its original position so the joke could be played again someday. After that the crew returned to their trip along the coast, and eventually sailed out of the fog somewhere in the Straits. “Father left the ship somewhere before St. John’s and he never knew if the sale of shells turned out to be a profitable venture or not,” Tony says. “The captain and the crew all agreed to never divulge where they got the shells, but the truth of it was they could not have found the location of the hidden cove again.” My grandfather left the sea life shortly after, travelling far from Newfoundland to work as a carpenter. But Labrador always had a special place in his heart.

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Readers’ Photo Album

The Labrador Tent

The traditional shelter was put up so a mug-up could be had while we watched the dogsled race in Rigolet, Labrador. IRENE O’BRIEN Tors Cove, NL

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FREEZING TEMPERATURES, DEEP SNOW, THICK WOODS, SEA ICE TRAVEL, EXTREME FATIGUE – ALL IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Does it sound like a fun way to spend a week? Most would perish the thought. Still, come March 7, 100 people will brave it all in the next Cain’s Quest Snowmobile Endurance Race. Canada, Finland, Switzerland and the United States will all be represented by the best of the best in professional backcountry racing, and it’s all happening in the ultimate snowmobiling paradise… Labrador.

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It has often been said that Cain’s Quest gets in your blood, whether you’re racing or watching. As soon as the snow hits the ground, it’s not long before the sweet aroma of snowmobile exhaust begins wafting throughout Labrador. As conversations spark about Cain’s Quest, racers start to feel the Cain’s Quest tingle in anticipation of what awaits them in the coming months. Fans, too, start to get excited. The amount of public engagement that Cain’s Quest brings is formidable, especially considering it happens in the remote Labrador wilderness where live broadcast is nearly impossible. Race fans all over the world watch as teams of two leave the start line in Labrador West and race day and night, hitting checkpoints on a 3,100-kilometre race route. The race is tracked via satellite, and fans spend hours online at Cainsquest.com following their favourite teams. They follow the official Cain’s Quest Facebook page for updates, and they chat and cheer on teams in all realms of social media. The race has evolved considerably since the pilot year for both the organizers and the teams. It has grown in registration, distance, fan

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base and reputation. Racers once raced stock sleds; now stock is the base for modifications to ultimately become a machine built to withstand the hard impacts of backcountry racing. Cain’s Quest welcomes new race teams every season, while repeat registration is a must for some teams. Dave Dumaresque and Shannon Strangemore from Labrador City, together with their team manager Darcy Lowe and their dedicated support crew, make up Team 17, Labrador Adrenaline. Cain’s Quest 2020 will be the eighth race for Dave and Shannon, and they have pretty much seen it all. The number 17 was chosen as they were the 17th team to register for the inaugural race back in 2006. They have clocked a few kilometres since then, travelling around Labrador for pleasure and as competitors. They have never raced with anyone but each other, and if you met them you would easily see why. This team has heart and dreams of a podium finish. You’d be hard pressed to find bigger fans of the race than these two. For these veteran racers, it is now second nature to plan out their strategy from race to race. Much like Liam

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Neeson in the movie Taken, Dave and Shannon both have a “very particular set of skills.” Shannon is great with mechanics and fabrication, while Dave is the navigator. Dave has always been an outdoors man – Shannon claims Dave can go places with his nose. They are quite the pair, trusting each other and confident in each other’s capabilities. After seven races, Team 17 has finally found its niche. The duo has secured an incredible support team, enabling the men to step back and concentrate solely on racing. Having that level of support has given them the comfort of knowing that when the light turns green, they are heading out there fully prepared and equipped to deal with whatever comes their way. After placing third in 2006, they would love to place in the top 5 this year. They call it a pipe dream to end their Cain’s Quest career with a podium finish, but their fans say Team 17 can go all the way. With the way these two work together, it would be hard to argue that they couldn’t take home the win. In 2018, Team 17 had all eyes on them, but for a very different reason. Accidents and injuries are real possi-

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L-R: Shannon Strangemore; Mike Pye, manager of the local Ski-doo dealership; and Dave Dumaresque, the day they picked up their 2018 race sleds. bilities for Cain’s Quest racers and during the last race, Team 17 fell victim to very unfortunate circumstances. In a candid interview, Team 17 shares their low of 2018, when Dave struck a drift that took them out of the competition. “There was quite a bit of snow on the lake,” Dave begins, “so the Skidoos were kind of trenching a little

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bit. The lake looked flat and the lighting was poor. There was a drift from earlier in the winter and it was hard. I struck that and the whole suspension just collapsed. I flew [off the snowmobile] and came down on the crest of another hard drift. I was riding the ski tips. I was expecting just to go on over and the Ski-doo was just going to come down and it was going to be lights out. But for some reason, I got tossed and the Ski-doo went about 150 feet.” Eerily, both Dave and Shannon had a gut feeling that something was going to happen before they even left the start line. Dave had packed a bottle of Atasol 30 in his dry bag this time, not something he would typically bring. Something told him he might need it in case someone got hurt – he just wasn’t thinking it would be him. Shannon had come off his machine

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the day before Dave’s accident. He had banged up his leg pretty good but was still capable of continuing the race. They had thought that was it, that Shannon’s spill would explain the bad feeling they’d had back in Labrador City. They didn’t imagine it would get much worse. “You think you’re invincible,” Shannon explains. “You think you can handle anything, and then your buddy is on the ground telling you ‘Get me up.’ I stood him up. ‘Go get my Ski-doo,’ he said. So, I did.” Dave says, “I couldn’t feel anything. I was favouring my leg, but I thought I had the wind knocked out of me more than anything. I tried to put weight on my injured leg, and it was the same as if you shot me with a rifle. I went down.” Before long, two veteran teams came upon them. One of the racers

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happened to be a paramedic and immediately began checking Dave over for injuries. It was determined that there wasn’t any blood, which was a good sign. Dave and Shannon encouraged the teams to continue with their race. Shannon and Dave then attempted to take their machines over to a less exposed area, where they could build a fire and warm up. But when Dave got on his machine, he knew they were done. He couldn’t move his leg at all. Shannon pressed the emergency button on his tracker, which would take them out of the race. Cain’s Quest dispatched a chopper to fly Dave to the nearest healthcare facility for medical treatment. Turned out, Dave had broken the femoral head (a ball-shaped piece of bone located at the top of the thigh bone, or femur). It would be eight

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Dave recovering from his accident in 2018 weeks before Dave could put his foot to the ground again, and he would need surgery to have hardware put in place to ensure his leg would heal properly and that he would fully recover. Dave watched the remainder of the race from a hospital bed. But as soon as Dave could stand on his own

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two feet, he started talking about the next Cain’s Quest. Today, Dave is in good health. He has healed well and is just as passionate about racing as ever. When asked if the 2018 incident would change how they would race in 2020, the answer was a resounding no. They’ve been preparing for 2020 by spending more time on the sled conditioning their bodies to be able to ride hard and fast, and to be able to push and pull each other and their sleds around the race route. They have a top-notch support team and while 2020 may be their last race, they would love to see Team 17 carry on. Maybe one day, their sons might ride together as Team 17. Whether or not they race again after 2020, just the memories of racing

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Not letting an injury slow them down, Team Labrador Adrenaline was already planning 2020’s race while Dave was recovering. across that wide-open lake in this big beautiful land, with a helicopter flying overhead and keeping pace, will always give them the biggest rush of Labrador adrenaline.

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What makes a way of life unique?

We are a natural people who love the land because it is our home, our birthplace. It is inspiring and beautiful in many ways – yours to explore and discover, our unique land of Labrador. Our land has an abundance of wildlife and scenery to be enjoyed in many ways, even just for the love of nature itself. We have fresh air, clean water, food grown by nature, natural medicines, magical views and a healthier land because of less pollution and greater respect for Nature, our Earth, our Home. The North is full of people who greet you while passing on the road or on the land. “Hello” is what we say… it is what we do.

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Keith Hewitt’s Grade 8 class (in no particular order): Steve, Alexander, Alexis, Debbi, Giselle, Ocean, Matshiu, Michael, Summer. (Missing from photo) Tana, Glen, Jay, Brianna, Nick, Thomas, Tiger, Violet, Garfield. A big part of who we are and what makes our northern way of life unique are our elders. Our elders are our living connection to the past. They can show us and teach us things about the past not found in books. They can teach us how to catch and cook traditional foods in traditional ways. Caribou, moose, geese, porcupine, duck, partridge, rabbit, muskrat, and fish such as char, brook trout, salmon and cod are a few of the wild foods we eat. Our elders can teach us how to cook meat and fish on a stove, and how to make bread in the sand. This bread is made first by making a fire in the sand, then covering the fire with more sand to keep the heat in the sand. This is covered with flour and

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dough and more sand. Cooking time depends on the amount of heat and the amount of bread being made. Elders can instruct us in many other ways of traditional life; for example, how to set up a tent, skin animals, communicate with spirits, make music, raise children, and make and use traditional tools and toys. They can teach us about our celebrations and survival skills. Survival skills are an important part of our northern way of life because they keep us alive and healthy. Generations ago, people had to depend on these skills to get food, make shelter and protect themselves against the elements. These skills taught us how to make clothing from the fur of

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ARTIST PROFILE The watercolour paintings in this article are the work of 12-year-old Ocean Rossignol. She’s a Grade 8 student at Mushuau Innu Natuashish School. Art comes naturally to Ocean, who is self-taught. “I draw to get my mind off things and to express feelings, and just because I like to draw,” she says. “It takes me three days,” Ocean explains of her painting process. “I sketch it out, then I paint it, then I fix it.” While these paintings were inspired by Mother Nature, Ocean also draws people. Her language teacher, Keith Hewitt, says she sketched his face one day after class and it’s such a good likeness that he uses it as his Facebook profile.

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animals hunted on the land: caribou, bear, wolf, fox, pine marten, rabbit and seal. Jackets, pants, hats, shoes, mittens, shirts, socks and undergarments are some examples of clothing made from material found in nature. Traditional clothing is still worn to protect us from the ice and cold, and for ceremonial purposes. Other materials such as bark, moss, animal hair and bones, antlers, stone (flint), trees and plants are still used today in many ways. An important lesson elders have taught us is that Mother Nature takes care of us, but we have forgotten to take care of Her. Fishing for sport or catch-and-release is harmful to Mother Nature because it is dangerous to the fish, as it may not survive the catching. Trophy hunting is wasteful to both Mother Nature and the animal because animals were not meant to be used for decorations, but for survival. It dishonours the animal’s spirit. Development can destroy the land, mountains ranges, plants and the animals that live there. Mother Nature has been recycling itself since Creation; it is important that we follow Her example and do the same. We hurt Her when we don’t. Once nature has been destroyed, there is no getting it back… it is a once in a lifetime gift from Mother Nature – our Earth, our Home. If we destroy our Home, where do we live?

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The time that H.G. Wells set a novel in Labrador BY BURTON K. JANES

ENGLISH WRITER H.G. Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific author, churning out a novel a year for much of his professional life, and often several books in the same year. At least one of those novels has a very familiar setting. About 20 years ago, I stumbled upon what I call Wells’ “Labrador novel” in a secondhand bookstore. Simply titled Marriage, it was published in 1912. In the book, Wells attributes the apparent breakup of so many marriages to the pressures of modern life and the drive to acquire greater quantities of money to waste. The heroine, Marjorie Pope, is saved from a mercenary marriage by an unexpected meeting with Richard Trafford, a young scientist. They themselves subsequently marry. However, Marjorie, who is a materialist with a passion for more and more things, ruins her husband by forcing him to sell his scientific skills to a businessman.

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Realizing their marriage is failing, with little possibility of repairing it under present circumstances, the couple chooses a drastic change of lifestyle. They travel into the Labrador wilderness, leaving boring middleclass England behind. Away from civilization, they need each other as they endure a hazardous rite of passage. Their love is renewed as they work together to fight off cold, hunger and wild animals. They return home with a keener appreciation for the value of life and what they believe will be a better plan for living. Some reviewers of the day found a few “moments of enduring interest,” including the Traffords’ journey to Labrador. As an example: One morning, while in the Big Land, Trafford finds the footmarks of a catlike creature in the snow near the bushes where he gets firewood. After breakfast, he takes his knife, rifle and snowshoes, and goes after the lynx. At midday, Marjorie, in their lonely hut, hears three shots in a row. “Something has happened,” she says. Seizing the rifle, she fires into the sky and stands listening. Then an answering shot. “He wants me,” she says. “Perhaps he has killed something too big to bring!” She prepares to look for her husband. Wells writes breathlessly: “Suddenly... she saw a patch of violently disturbed snow – snow stained a dreadful colour, a snow of scarlet crystals! Three strides

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and Trafford was in sight. “She had a swift conviction he was dead. He was lying in a crumbled attitude on a patch of snow between convergent rocks, and the lynx, a mass of blood-smeared silvery fur, was in some way mixed up with him... She felt no fear now, and no emotion; all her mind was engaged with the clear, bleak perception of the fact before her... His head was hidden by the lynx’s body; it was as if he was burrowing underneath the creature; his legs were twisted about each other.” Marjorie cares for Trafford and makes him comfortable. She builds a fire, realizing they are going nowhere that night. “When at last the wolfish cold of the Labrador night had come,” Wells continues, “it found Trafford and Marjorie seated almost warmly on a bed of pine boughs between the sheltering dark rock behind and a big but well husbanded fire in front... “What did it matter for the moment if the dim snow-heaps rose and rose about them? A glorious fatigue, an immense self-satisfaction possessed Marjorie; she felt that they had both done well.” Wells’ novel may have no lasting significance; it may have faded like an outdated newspaper. If written today, it would win no literary prize. Still, it deserves two inches of shelf space in the personal library of those who enjoy reading literature with a link to Labrador.

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photo finish

Looking Grand

“The gates are open up above at the structures and the mighty Churchill River [Grand River] is flowing as she did for thousands of years. Magnificent... Powerful... Majestic… Beautiful,” writes the submitter, who took this photo in September 2019. “So many people from all over Labrador have come to see this before the gates close again and it goes back to a trickle.” TIMOTHY COLLINS Labador City, NL

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Profile for Downhome Publishing Inc

Inside Labrador Winter 2020  

Inside Labrador Winter 2020