My walk to the school from my B&B is about 15 minutes down a gravel road. The gravel road was watered today to keep down the dust. I walk along the Porcupine River for part of the way and alongside a hedge of shrubs that bark as I pass. Well, the shrubs don’t bark, but hidden among them are about two dozen dogs tied to posts or little makeshift dog houses. Many of the residents here own a couple dozen dogs throughout the year and use them for recreational mushing in the winter. Their ancestors’ main way of transportation used to be with dogs, but now some of the residents will enter in dog sled races (although they are very expensive to enter) or just go exploring with their dogs.
I have a bit more work to do here at the school tonight. Because I am ending the year with the students, I also need to get the room ready for summer vacation. This means taking down the Word Wall and Hundreds Chart, as well as every other piece of artwork or literacy that covers a bulletin board. It is kind of a nice piece of closure to my first year of supply teaching.
I thought I would add some pictures of around town tonight.
Figure 1 Fire Department. It is voluntary.
Figure 2 Most popular mode of transportation. There is a discount on fuel up here, but it is still astronomical.
Figure 3 The B&B (Ch'oo Deenjik Accomodations) where I'm staying owned by the Kindergarten teacher and her husband. I’ve yet to find out what the name means.
Figure 4 This is my place. Three bedrooms, large washroom with laundry facilities, and fridge to myself... plus thick blinds and a woodstove- it rivals our apartment in Whitehorse.
Figure 5 Skating rink of course!
Figure 6 Inside the skating rink!
I also have to mention that the title of this post is due to a very lovely woman named Edith Josie. She is famous in Old Crow and even received the Order of Canada for her authentic journalism. The Whitehorse Star was looking for a correspondent in Old Crow and the pastor’s wife recommended Edith. She worked for the Whitehorse Star for over 40 years and her column also appeared in other Canadian newspapers. Life magazine also did a story about her and last night I was able to watch a film that CBC produced about this inspiring woman. She wrote the way she talked and the Whitehorse Star honoured her hand written columns and typed them up just the way they were written. She shared with the world the way of life in Old Crow in her humourous and enlightening style. She was a herald for the community and she also emphasized the importance of preserving the Gwitchin culture and educating the children of the future. Yukon College gave her an honourary diploma for her work in teaching others about Gwitchin culture. Her column was entitled “Here are the News”. Edith’s daughter, Jane, still works at the school teaching Gwitchin language and culture to the students, following in her mother’s footsteps of preserving culture and encouraging the leaders of tomorrow.
You can find a link to an article about her, after her death in 2010, as well as a short video highlighting her life and influence below: