Burnt Snow: My Years Living and Working with the Dene of the Northwest Territories (Hardcover)
In northern Canada, there is a way of life that has been vanishing before our very eyes?and is continuing to disappear at an alarming pace. Life in the North is undergoing incredible changes, and yet the people of the North, cling onto every vestige of that old life that they can. The author, an Irish Immigrant, who for five years was partially raised by a Metis family in Winnipeg, heads North in a soul searching mission to find himself and his place in life. The reflections of his encounters with some of the leading figures of the North are quite humorous and consequential in the later development of the North. He describes the Indigenous Elders who would influence him in countless ways, and how their teachings are later, the source of northern survival in otherwise seemingly impossible situations. This book reflects the people of that time, and their lifestyle of living off the land in total independence and their incredible life-skills of survival.
Kieran Moore is an Irish immigrant who, at the age of twenty, faced impending layoffs at his construction job in Winnipeg. He was frustrated at the instability and purposelessness of my life at the time and decided to head into the North West Territories in the hope of finding that purpose there. Shortly after arrival, he was asked to build a church in the Dene community of Rae Lakes in the northern boreal region of Canada. That assignment led to his immersion in the world of the Dene throughout the 1970-1980s, the period covered in his book. It was at a time of dramatic change for Dene communities. He experienced both the richness of character of the people and shared in their traditional ways and also experienced the confusion and suffering the community underwent as the old ways came under threat from outside forces. The tradition of storytelling was an integral part of the Dene way and he learned a great deal by listening to their elders and working with them as they built structures, lived side by side and hunted together. The stories he tells reflect his personal engagement with the Dene of the N.W.T. and they are told in the spirit of the storytelling tradition of the Dene and that of his Irish ancestors. The author presently lives in Peterborough Ontario, still clinging to the past with good connections with his friends in the North, some of which make the long journey to do talks at Trent University and stop in for visits. He owns two incredibly large Huskies that take up a great part of his time. He has done guiding for Mahoosuc Guide, operating adventure trips in Chibougamau, Quebec. Trips such as week-long dog sled and canoe trips in the Quebec wilderness on Cree family trap-line.