AFFIDAVIT OF W. R. BARLOW, M.D.
In the Privy Council.
IN THE MATTER of the BOUNDARY between
the DOMINION of CANADA and the
COLONY of NEWFOUNDLAND in the
I, WILLIAM RAWSON BARLOW, M.D. of Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland Medical Practitioner make oath and say as follows:—
1. I was for over two years physician in charge of the Hospital at Okkak, Northern Labrador, maintained by the Moravian Mission at that place. I went out from England by the Mission ship Harmony in the early summer of 1914, and came back in the autumn of 1916.
2. In April 1915, and in the same month of 1916, I accompanied the Esquimaux on their annual deer hunt inland from Okkak. Usually about twenty or thirty men, those with the best guns, dog-teams and equipment, take part in this annual hunt. They travel inland for seven days or roughly 200 miles. My estimate is based on an hourly progress of three miles with the dog-teams and a daily journey of ten hours. Greater progress is not possible, because the teams are heavily laden with supplies and necessaries both for the journey inland and the return.
3. These expeditions were undertaken partly to secure deer meat for food and partly to secure the sinews from the backs of the animals, which sinews are indispensible to the Esquimaux in sewing seal skins for boots and garments, as nothing so satisfactory for this purpose exists as the back sinews of the deer.
4. A similar party of Esquimaux went inland each year from Nain, 120 miles south of Okkak, but larger because Nain is a bigger station, having
a greater population. The two parties met each year at a junction point in the interior best suited for the deer hunt, and this was successful each season, the pasties securing all the deer they required.
5. I understand that for generations it has been the custom for the Esquimaux to make a similar deer hunt each year. In former times they carried only provisions for the inland journey and travelled until they met the deer, or if they failed to do so perished in many cases from lack of food on the return journey; but latterly the practice is to take a fortnight's provisions, make the week's trip inland and then, if deer are not to be found to return without any, using the reserve stock of food for the trip back.
6. My understanding is that the Esquimaux regarded the whole region as far inland as they proceeded, as their own country, that is to say, part of the territory of the Government of Newfoundland, to whose rule they consider themselves as subject.
WILLIAM RAWSON BARLOW (L.S.)
SWORN at Port-aux-Basques.
This Twenty first day of March 1926.
Justice of the Peace for the
Colony of Newfoundland.
W. R. BARLOW.