In the first days of the new Northern Studies Graduate Program, from September 6th to 12th, 2017, students traveled to Moose Factory for the introductory field course. We stayed at the Cree Village Ecolodge on Moose Factory Island, arriving from Cochrane by train at Moosonee and crossing over by water taxi.
On our first day at Moose Factory, Rev. Norm Wesley led a full-day workshop on Cree people, culture and history. It was stimulating and engaging. Norm led the group in a blanket exercise to make personal the history of Indigenous people in Canada.
On our second day we travelled down the Moose River to James Bay to hear about the natural environment, and to set up a blind for goose hunting. The wind was blowing offshore, so no geese were in the air.
On Sunday we were treated to a traditional Cree cooking and a delicious dinner of goose meat.
Before we left on Monday we visited the federal Weeneebayko General Hospital on the island. In Moosonee we were guided around the town by the Mayor, Wayne Taipale, who took us to buildings of historic interest for the fur trade and several other places of local interest. Mayor Wayne made us feel very welcome in Moosonee. Our journey home was completed on Tuesday 12th. We had a very enjoyable and educational visit thanks to the warm welcome we received from the people of Moose Factory, their willingness to share aspects of their culture and traditions with visitors, and the hard work of Jean-Pierre Chabot, our coordinator on the island.