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Winter Camp

Basic Knowledge

9:49 min. - One way to judge young Innu’s autonomy is to see if they know how to pitch their tent in winter and see if they manage to stay warm and comfortable all night.


Narrator - One way to judge a young Innu's self-sufficiency is to see whether he knows how to pitch his tent in winter conditions, and whether he can stay warm and comfortable throughout the night. He needs to know many things in order to do this successfully. For example, you have to begin by removing your snowshoes to tightly pack the snow that will form the base of the floor. Otherwise it will sag under the weight of its occupants, taking the heat from the tent along with it. Not only that, but the whole structure will lose its rigidity. Also, you can't sleep well with lumps in your back. That's why we use our snowshoes to make the snow floor beneath the spruce branches as even as possible. Once this operation has been successfully completed, we set up the poles for the structure. The branches, which have been kept on the poles till then, are used to insulate the floor.
Kanukuen Gabriel - During the winter, people would sometimes go to shop for bullets, tea or tobacco. They went to Fort Chimo, Nain, Utshimassit or Tshishe-shastshit. Once I accompanied a group to Tshishe-shastshit. We camped 7 times just to get there, and 10 times on the way back. We stayed in Tshishe-shastshit for a week. We would also go to buy flour, tobacco, tea and bullets. But for us, the bullets were the most important item. We purchased large quantities of tea as well, loose tea that you could grab by the handful. We economised our bullets by approaching our prey as close as possible to be sure we wouldn't miss. We were so careful with our bullets that sometimes we only used 3 bullets to kill 4 caribou. You had to kill 20 caribou with a box of 20 bullets. It got to the point that, each time we heard a shot, we knew a hunter had killed an animal. We only took chances when we didn't have much to eat. Then we would shoot from a distance. It was very easy for me to spend 10 months in the bush. I loved it. We knew there were other Innu around us, and that everyone helped each other out.
Narration - So, life went on this way till the days began to get longer and it started to get warmer. Then, the group split up.
Rodrigue Fontaine - Hunter, hunter
You who keep your knowledge safe
Hunter in the bush
That's where your grandfather Taught you to hunt
Hunter it's time to go to your land
Hunter in the bush That's where your grandmother taught you
To take care of yourself
Hunter, hunter You who followed the river
To reach your land
Hunter, hunter You'll pitch your tent...

Music - Rodrigue Fontaine, Bill St-Onge, Luc Bacon


Elysabeth B 7 years, 5 months ago

C'est beaucoup de travail et de coopération pour monter un campement. Merci de partager votre enseignement de survie en hiver.

Yves Landry 8 years, 3 months ago

Tshi nashkumitin!!!

Eduardo Vallerio 10 years, 2 months ago

Wonderful production. Congratulations to all the people that worked in this project.
Thanks for sharing your history, culture and spirituality.
Eduardo Vallério

isabelle defaudais 10 years, 9 months ago

beau documentaire, belle musique, impressionant!
salutations de berlin

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5 Related Video to Winter Camp

23 Related words or expressions

they cover the base of the tent with snow
apakuatakanu patshuianitshuap
they cover the tent structure with canvas
ashitshishtau tshimannu
she strikes a match
auneu tshishtapakuna
she carries spruce branches
ka uitshinanut
a shovel
mamakushkamu umatukap
he uses his body weight to trample the snow, to make a place for the tent
sculpting wood to make toys
he pierces the trunk to bend them
hole in the ice to fish
they move around, pulling a toboggan
they remove the branches from a conifer with an axe to insulate a floor
he puts on his snowshoes
cone-shaped, two-doored tent
he walks across a frozen lake
central pole
ice chisel
tshissinuashtakanu pikuakan
fishing-hole marker
white-tailed ptarmigan
birch branches as bait
wooden hook
utapanashkut utapeu umitima
here she comes with her firewood on the sled

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