23rd September, by Cornelia, Dario:
At 7.00 am we stood up and went for a walk to abandoned Davis Inlet, our ghost village. There, we explored empty houses and the school. All windows were broken, even these weren’t old houses.
Here the story about Davis Inlet:
1924 the Innu used the shoreline of Davis Inlet for trading their furs for butter, sugar, flour, tobacco, traps and ammunition with the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post in summertime. Without prior consultation the government relocated the community in 1948 to a small community of Nutak in northern Labrador. But two years later the Innu made their way back on foot. In 1967 the government relocated them again to the island Iluikoyak, that’s the island we visited and where we only found empty houses. But they got a lot of problems. They couldn’t continue their traditional way of getting food by hunting caribou on the mainland and they got dependent on store-bought food. So they began drinking alcohol and developed drug dependences. The suicide rate increased a lot. Illuikoyak island is solid rock, and because working the rock was seen as too expensive, the houses provided by the government for settlement were made without basements or water and sewage systems. The houses were also small, poorly constructed, and not designed to house extended families. Because of these problems and the missing water on the island, the Canadian government moved the Innu 2002 back to the mainland of Labrador to Natuashish. But the problems are still the same, even though the community has banned alcohol since 2008.
On our way to Hopedale we encountered again some icebergs.
In the evening we reached the dock in Hopedale. There were some people welcoming us. Hopedale belongs to one of the 5 Inuit communities (Nain, Makkovik, Postville, Rigolet and Hopedale) here in Nunatsiavut, with about 640 people. Fisherman Greg Flowers lives just next to our dock. He is a great advocat for renewable technologies in town and goes solar at his hunting cabin as a first step. He hopes that Hopedale is able to get its power from the wind and the sun in the next future. He explained us the problems they have with later freez up in autumn and earlier brack up in spring. That cause problems to go hunting and get food for their families, where they normally are able to travel long distances to their hunting grounds. He also told us that the weather pattern changed: July and August have been the best month with blue skies and a lot of sunshine. Sience 4 years the summer gets humid with more rain and fog. He thinks that the missing ice and the open water in the far North cause more moisture transported to Labrador.
For diner Sabine surprised us with fresh food from Nain: mashed potatos, vegetables and an egg. 🙂