Thursday, July 26, 2007
In our kayak explorations, we have begun to visit as many sites of traditional indian settlement as we can find. We find hints in books, and look for land that is marked as Indian Reserve on the chart. Virtually all are deserted, and all physical evidence of previous inhabitation is has long gone, except for the middens of shell, the accumulation left by centuries of clams and scallops and mussels caught and eaten. It is the sites chosen for the villages are fascinating to us. They are usually very warm and protected, but nearly always with access to water in multiple directions, including in at least one direction, big open water where there would be good fishing. The photo here is taken just past the village site called Checkaklis, in the Bunsby Islands, south of the Brooks Peninsula. Beyond the line of rocks and reefs in the background is the open Pacific, with its large breakers. A settlement in this place would be rich, wild, wet, and always changing - a village on the edge.