p. 2273N



No. 964.

[Enclosure 3 in No. 961.]

EXTRACT FROM LETTER FROM WM. KENNEDY TO SIR GEORGE SIMPSON.



HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY'S HASTER MEAD OFFICE RECORDS.

North West River, Esquimaux Bay,
25th September, 1843.

To add to our difficulties this year, with so few men at our disposal, the outfits taken to the interior of Ungava have been much increased by the unexpected arrival last fall at Fort Chimo of about 20 families of Indians sent from the Rupert's River district to hunt in the Ungava Country. These men were sent on to Mr. Kennedy's post at the Height of Land Fort Nascopie, where they arrived on the 8 January last with a letter from Chief Trader Corcoran informing us that they were transferred to this district as no preparation had been made for them in the interior, a very short supply could be given them. This summer an additional outfit has been sent for them, but as this will add annually to the quantity hitherto supplied for the Trade of that Country and an additional post is necessary in order to disperse these Indians over new hunting grounds—we would require a greater instead of a less number of men.
The Indent for 1844 is made out with reference to the expenditure of the past year the increased number of Indians from Rupert's River district, the increased trade with the Hunters all of whom have large credit Balances which we have to pay off this fall from current outfit and to provide for any increase hereafter. Nothing has been entered in the Requisition that can be easily dispensed with, and as far as the Fort Chimo stock of goods will supply our wants, deductions have been made. Allowance has also been made for an Outfit additional for the interior posts for the service of 1845 in case it may be inconvenient to continue sending the vessel from Quebec so early as last and present years. The outfits for those posts may in that case be forwarded inland without waiting the arrival of the vessel as it is necessary the people to winter inland should be there in good time for the fall fishing, else their only means of support fails. This Outfit is entered in the Indent in a separate column that it may be deducted if you do not approve of the measure.
I am informed by Mr. Kennedy that the Rupert's River Indians are much disappointed in the Ungava Country as they do not find it such as they expected. That Country is extensive ; but at least three-fourths is

p. 2274

unwooded, and the wooded Country is only a few narrow strips they found already in the possession of Indians who have long hunted in that quarter ; but who have only traded at the Ungava Country since 1837. They go by the name of Nascopies and are principally from Seven Islands and others of the Kings Posts. Their number is as follows :—

64 married men
73 Lads Boys (many growing up to be good hunters)
74 married women
65 girls &c.

As these range over the whole extent of the country from the neighbourhood of Ft. Chimo to the hunting grounds of the Indians of this Bay and those of Seven Islands Bay and also towards the post of Canniapiscaw—the most northern in Rupert's River district—they leave little scope for others. Although the trade this last year was the best that has been made there, yet of about 2400 Martens, only 62 were received from the Rupert's River Indians, and they give little more than Deerskins in addition to this. They killed only 3 Beavers and report that it is not the country for them. They found it difficult to live anywhere except in those parts where Deer abound, but where fur animals are scarce, Mr. Kennedy has instructions to do all in his power to disperse them over the best hunting grounds without interfering too much with those of the Nascopies and to prevail upon them to remain as he thinks they are inclined to return to their own Country. I hope until these have got properly settled that no more may be sent and that we may have previous notice of their coming, that provisions may be made for the trade with them.

[1927lab]


 

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