p. 2387

the Montagnais Indians camped by themselves far down the beach last summer.  They hold themselves above the Northwest River people.
It is as well if one is having to do with the people there to know that the name Naskaupi is a term of contempt applied by the southern Indians and not to be used to a person’s face.  At best it means an ignorant person, and probably includes the idea of dirtiness and general indecency.  I have never heard a dignified Indian use it.  The general Montagnais name for the Naskaupis is Big People, the Montagnais being small themselves.  The actual name is Pakquockanun or Pakquockamus, I am not sure of my own writing of the word.  The boy I had to come back with me, Gilbert Blake, and who spoke Indian fluently, called them Crees, which by their own account they are, having come north from the region southwest of Hudson Bay, within historic time, to get away from the Iroquois.”
According to the estimate of the Dominion Department of Indian Affairs, the total number of Montagnais Indians who came to the southern coast of Labrador in 1908 was six hundred and ninety-four.  All these, with the exception of the few too decrepit to travel, spend the greater part of the year in the interior.  The summer journeys in search of caribou and other game in many cases take them a very considerable distance along the rivers and lakes.  All of them make a spring or summer trip to the coast, where they dispose of the winter’s catch of fur and secure supplies from the traders.
Samuel Robertson ¹ estimated the number of Montagnais Indians on the coast in 1841  “ from the Saguenay downwards ” at about 700 and including those about lake St. John, at 1,000.  The latter estimate he suspected was too large.  This estimate published in 1843 is surprisingly near the 1908 figures of the Indian Department, and suggests no material change in the numbers of the Indians during the past seventy years.  Cabot has the impression that their numbers are diminishing and stated  “ The people of the Labrador inland are a remnant.” Davies stated that  “ of the thirty-two families who frequented the bay (lake Melville) in 1840 only nine belonged to it.”
The Naskaupis of George river formerly showed relatively little inclination to visit the trading posts.  McLean said of them that  “ of all the Indians I have seen, the Naskaupis seem most averse to locomotion ;  many of them grow up to man’s estate without once visiting a trading post.” ²
In the old days, savage reprisals resulted when either race entered the hunting territory of the other.  Battle Harbour,³ according to tradition, is one of the names which has survived from the days when the Indian and Eskimo tried to settle disputes concerning their hunting grounds with the tomahawk and the spear.  The Eskimo have disappeared from the coast south of the Hamilton inlet, which the Newfoundland fishermen now occupy

¹  Robertson, Samuel,  “ Notes on the Coast of Labrador,” Trans. Lit. and Hist. Soc., Quebec, vol. IV., 1843, p. 40.
²  “ Notes of a Twenty-five Years’ Service in the Hudson’s Bay Territory,” London, 1849, p. 119.
³  Hawkes, E. W.,  “ The Labrador Eskimo,” Geol. Surv., Can., Mem. 91, 1916, p. 17.  Gosling (Labrador, 1910, p. 167) considers Battle a modification of the Portugese word batel-canoe, but admits the immemorial hostility between the two races.

p. 2388

during the summer ;  nearly all of them return to Newfoundland for the winter.  The Indian still survives in southern Labrador, but lives as his ancestors did, except that canvas canoes and tents have supplanted the birch-bark canoe and the skin-covered tepee.
In Labrador, as elsewhere on the northern frontier, natural selection is producing a type of man well adapted to a changing environment.  This new type will in time supplant the Indian.
In a country where elemental conditions prevail as they do in Labrador, natural selection is not an academic term but a stern reality.  Nature under-takes to make of every man who claims a home in Labrador either a hunter or a fisherman.  For the failure starvation awaits just around the corner.  The man who is a produce of an environment where these two arts are not important or essential, must, when he comes to Labrador, speedily acquire them unless he is able to maintain connexion with his old environment and its resources.  The tragic death in 1903 of Leonidas Hubbard illustrates the remorseless way in which this fundamental law works in Labrador.
The hardy French and English fishermen, who came into the region a century and a half ago, found it to their liking, as did the Scotch traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company who followed them.  They and their successors have left as descendants a brown-skinned race of Eskimo or Indian extraction on the maternal side.  These are the  “ liviers,” as they are called to distinguish them from the Newfoundland fishermen who do not  “ live here,” but come and go with each fishing season.  Unlike the Indian, who is willing to starve but not to work when game is scarce, the  “ livier ” is apt to have the industrious habits of his paternal ancestry.  Many of them have comfortable cabins always well stocked with rifles and some supplied with a few books and, in one instance which the writer recalls, with a small organ.  Throughout the summer the  “ livier. ” devotes himself to the salmon and trout fishing in lake Melville, and in winter to trapping.  At the approach of winter he goes into the forest for the trapping season, sometimes with a companion or with dogs, but in many cases, alone, and from 50 to 200 miles from any settlement.  The solitary trapper ordinarily knows no other companionship for three or four months except that of the trees, the stars, and the aurora.  If the trap-line be a long one, 4 a.m. will find a good trapper on the trail.  These men appear to be as perfectly adjusted to, and satisfied with, their environment as the foxes and the otters whose pelts they seek.
The permanent or winter homes of the natives or  “ liviers ” are commonly located in groups of three or four near a river mouth.  In many cases, however, solitary houses are located many miles from any others.  Small shacks have been constructed along some streams at intervals of 20 or more miles, which are occupied only for night camps by trappers in winter.
It is difficult to estimate the number of people living in Lake Melville district.  The results of various inquiries and the writer’s own observations indicate that eight or nine families occupy the shores of Double Mer.  This probably represents about thirty persons.  The population of the shores

p. 2389

of lake Melville west of Rigolet includes about two hundred and fifty people.  Northwest River and Rigolet have respectively about seventy and forty-five people.  The total population of the Lake Melville and Grand Lake basins, exclusive of Indians, appears to be about four hundred and fifteen persons.
Failure to mention the insect pests would render incomplete any discussion of the environment of the people of Eastern Labrador.  Packard’s remarks on the mosquitoes and black flies indicate briefly but clearly the disturbing and annoying character of this factor.  He states that  “ The armies of black flies were supported by light brigades of mosquitoes.  They fly into our faces ;  they do not bite hard, like the mosquitoes, but the vampires suck long and deep, leaving great clots of blood.  No wonder that these entomological pests are a perfect barrier to inland travel, and that few people live during the summer away from the sweep of the high winds and dwell on the exposed shores of the coast to escape these torments.” ¹
Whether the insect pests of the interior and the fear of the Indian have been factors in keeping the Eskimo confined to the coast may be questioned, but there is no doubt about the abundant food supply of the seashore being the essential bond between this race and the coastal strip.  A race so fully able as the Eskimo to supply all its wants on the seashore would have little reason for exposing itself to the attacks of both its hereditary human and insect enemies by taking up its abode inland.
Freedom from the mosquito and black fly pests has evidently been considered in locating the admirably planned and equipped hospitals established along the coast by Dr. Grenfell.  The Indian Harbour hospital, located on an outlying island 40 miles from the head of Hamilton inlet, seems to be entirely free of mosquitoes and flies.  An inland hospital at Northwest River, 130 miles west, is occupied by the Indian Harbour hospital staff in winter after the insects have vanished and when people have returned from the islands and seacoast to their winter houses located near the trapping grounds.  Very few of the houses about the mosquito-infested bays and river mouths of lake Melville are occupied during the summer.  Most of their owners occupy temporary camps or summer houses along the eastern part of the lake where the salmon fishing is good, or go out to the seacoast for the cod fishing season.
Probably no more definite habitat limits ever existed between native races than those recognized by the Indian and the Eskimo in the Labrador peninsula prior to the advent of the white man.  Turner writes of the Eskimo,  “ The region inhabited by the Innuit is strictly littoral.”²  Hawkes³ states that  “ the Eskimo rarely inhabit a border country in heavy numbers, but prefer a screen of hunting territory between themselves and their inveterate enemies, the Indians . . . This is true of northern Alaska, the Mackenzie and Coppermine districts, Hudson Bay, and Labrador as well . . . The

¹  Packard, A. S.,  “ The Labrador Coast,” 1891, p. 75.
²  Turner, L. M.,  “ Ethnology of the Ungava District, Hudson Bay Territory,” Smith, Inst., 11th Ann. Rept., Bureau of Ethnology.
³  Hawkes, E. W.,  “ The Labrador Eskimo,” Geol. Surv., Can., Mem. 91, pp. 17 and 24.

p. 2390

coastal habitation of the Labrador Eskimo is broken only at Davis inlet, on the Atlantic coast, where the Eastern Naskapi come out yearly to the Hudson’s Bay Company post to trade.”
Occasional clashes between the two races were incidental to the maintenance of the inviolability of their respective domains.  These were checked and eventually eliminated shortly after the opening of trading posts, through the influence of the traders.  Esquimo island, near the eastern end of lake Melville, is said to have been the scene of the last battle over the interracial boundary in the Hamilton Inlet region.  This island is a short distance inside the forested zone.  The Indians asserted, according to tradition, that the Great Spirit had made an unmistakable sign by which to distinguish the territories of the two races—all that was covered with forest belonging to the Indians and all that was barren being for the Eskimo.
From the coast south of Hamilton inlet the Eskimo has disappeared and the cod fisherman has taken his place.  A few Eskimo families still persist in Hamilton Inlet district (Plate IV A).  North of that area in many places the Newfoundland fishermen appear to have either supplanted the Eskimo or occupy the coast conjointly with them.  The Newfoundland fisherman, like the Eskimo whom he has supplanted, depends upon the sea for his livelihood.  He has as a result of his occupation confined his activities to the coastal region as closely as the Eskimo did.
Three trading companies have representatives at Northwest River.  These are Hudson’s Bay Company, the French Company, and the Porter Company.  At Rigolet (Plate IX), the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the Porter Company one mile east of Rigolet, operate stores.  A Newfoundland trader keeps a store at Indian Harbour.
****
Interior  Extent  of  the  Intertidal  Fauna.

It might appear upon casual consideration a very simple matter to define for any region the limits or boundaries between the seacoast, on the one hand, and the banks of confluent lakes and rivers, on the other.  This, however, is far from true.  The banks of rivers with wide, trumpet-shaped mouths, like the St. Lawrence in Canada and the Potomac in the United States, merge into the coast line of the sea without producing the sharp, angular interruption in the shore line which defines the mouths of ordinary rivers.  The tide in such streams in many places reaches far up that part of the channel which everyone would agree is that of a river rather than the arm of a bay.  No one, for example, would question the fact that Quebec and Washington cities are located respectively on the St. Lawrence and Potomac rivers, although the tides run well above these cities.
It is evident from these considerations that neither configuration of the shore-line nor extent of tidal influence affords in some cases dependable criteria for delimiting the seacoast from the shore of river or lake.  Brackish water with a considerable degree of salinity often extends, like the tidal influence, up channels universally regarded as rivers.

p. 2391

There is apparently no single criterion which taken alone, would be generally accepted as an adequate and conclusive test or index of the limit of seashore or river mouth.  Salinity, however, is one factor to be considered.  Both the plant and animal life of sea-water are delicately adjusted to the salinity of normal sea-water.  The seashore and the waters adjacent to it are everywhere characterized by assemblages of animals and plants which cannot live in fresh or brackish water.  Where tidal waters extend a long distance inland, as they do in Lake Melville region, a dependable method of ascertaining where salinity changes occur is to note the limit of marine life.
Examination of the shore-line at Rigolet, when the tide is out, discloses a typical marine fauna in the shallow pools and attached to the rocks.  The species collected on the south side of The Narrows opposite Rigolet are indicated in the following list :

Marine  Invertebrates  from  The  Narrows  opposite Rigolet ¹—Field  No. 7.

HYDROIDEA
Thuiaria similis (Clark)—7 pieces
Thuiaria similis (?) (Clark)—1 piece.  Differs from Nutting’s description in that each node of main stem bears two branches (one on each side) and one hydrotheca on each side.  Sub-branches agree with description

AMPHIPODA
Ischyrocerus latipes (Kryer)—19 specimens and fragments
Ischyrocerus anguipes (Kryer)—12 specimens
Erichthonius rubricornis (Stimpson)—6 specimens and fragments
Dulichia porrecta (Bate)— 2 fragments
Metopa spectabilis Sars—1 specimen
Stenopleustes malmgreni (Boeck)—6 specimens
Caperella stinpsoni (Bate)—many specimens
Caprella linearis (Linn) (?)—10 small specimens including 3 females
Jassa sp. (near J. minutus (Sars)—3 (females only)
Jassa sp.—1 small specimen
Atylus carinatus (Fabr.)—1 specimen
Acanthonotozoma infatium (Kryer)—1 fragment

CIRRIPEDIA
Balanus crenatus —3, and fragments of 1 (?) more

GASTROPODA
Littorina palliata (Say)—1 specimen
Acmaea testudinalis—1 specimen
Littorina rudis var. groenlandica (Mörch)
Molleria costulata (Möller) –1 (?) small broken shell

AMPHINEURA
Amicula vestia (Sowerby)—1 specimen
Tonicella marmorea (O. Fabr.)—2 specimens

BRACHIPODA
Hemihyris psittacea (Gmelin)—half shell

PELECYPODA
Mya truncata L.— 1 half shell
Mytilus edulis L.—6 shells, and 1 fragment
Saxicava arctica (L.) abour* 2 dozen shells and fragments (incomplete)

¹  The species in this list have been determined by Prof. A. G. Huntsman.

[1927lab]




 

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