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Circular canvas tent on late summer tundra.


Camping on the Land

Images From Yesterday and Today

Gathered here under a single roof are photographs taken both long ago and in today’s era. This gallery of evocative images of the past and the present conveys stories and experiences.

Historical photo of a trading post with a wall covered with snow to insulate it from the cold winter. In front of it there are two dogs.

Hudson's Bay Company post building at Great Whale River insulated with snow, 1915.
Hudson's Bay Company Archives HBCA 1987/363-G-28/8 (N16563) 

A man with a machete cutting blocks of snow stacked in front of the canvas tent of a winter camp. In the background is another man moving in the snowstorm.

Cutting and laying a wall of snow blocks before the storm to protect the tent of a winter camp

Overview of a winter encampment at night, in which tents are lit from the inside. Around in the darkness one sees the silhouette of sleds and snowmobiles on the edge of an icy lake.

Winter camp at night

Historical photograph of an Inuit group in a winter camp landscape, with sleds, dogs and tools in the snow such as shovels and machetes.

Group of inuit with sleds, Cape Dufferin, East Coast of Hudson Bay, around 1910.
Anonymous, McCord Museum Collection MP-0000.1538.4

Canvas tent of a winter camp with, in front, walls of stacked snow blocks to protect against bad weather. One can see snowmobiles, two people talking and a saw planted in the snow that was used to cut the blocks of snow.

Tent in a winter camp with protective snow wall

Historic photo of a winter camp with a row of igloos on the tundra. There is a man as well as two dogs.

Row of igloos, Wakeham Bay, Hudson Strait, around 1910.
Anonymous, 1895-1905, McCord Museum Collection M5797

Man from the back with a machete trimming and adjusting the blocks of snow of his igloo. With his free hand, he clogs the gaps between the blocks.

Allen Gordon filling gaps between blocks of snow on his igloo

Exterior view at night of a completed igloo, where one can see the light through the snow wall and the entrance of the house accessible by crawling on the ground. We see planted in the snow tools used, such as a shovel, a machete and a wood saw.

Allen Gordon's completed igloo

Historical photo of a young child wearing a traditional hooded parka, holding a harpoon in his hands.

Child holding a harpoon. Sugluk, 1959.
Photographer: Charles Gimpel. Hudson's Bay Company Archives

On the floor of a tent in a winter camp, cooking utensils and a propane camping stove near a roll of freshly-fried dough.

Fried bannock inside a tent 

Historical photograph showing a hunter armed with a rifle lying on the ice while approaching a seal.

Seal hunting on the ice, Little Whale River, 1872
James Laurence Cotter, McCord Museum Collection, MP-0000.391.6

Summer tundra where one can see flat rocks and a low grass cover, with mountains in the distance.

Summer tundra 

Historical photograph of an Inuit family in front of a summer camp tent.

Group of Inuit, Fort Chimo, 1896
A.P. Low, Library and Archives Canada C-005591

Close-up of grasses at the end of summer, in warm colors.

August grasses 

Historical photo of a couple and five young children, in front of a summer camp tent and a mountain in the back.

Inuit family in front of their tent in Cape Wolstenholme, 1933
Photographer: Max Sauer Jr, Hudson's Bay Company Archives

A pack of dogs descending a slope towards a village following the hunt of a rodent that one of the animals holds in its mouth.

Return from the hunt 

Historical photograph showing a man fishing on ice, and raising a fish using his line.

Man fishing, 1947-1948
Richard Harrington, Library and Archives Canada PA-147095

Woman standing in front of the fishing hole of an icy lake, and moving her line with a wooden stick around which the excess rope is wound.

Woman ice fishing

Circular canvas tent on late summer tundra.

Camping on the Land 

Historical photograph of a group of men moving on the pack ice in a boat loaded with equipment.

Inuit men inside an umiaq on sea ice, 1910-27
Captain George E. Mack, McCord Museum Collection, MP-0000.597.73

View of a winter landscape at sunset with, in the foreground, a thin flag made of a strip of fabric  that indicates the strength and direction of the wind.

End of the day in Puvirnituq 

Historical photo of a man on a beach holding a spear. There are two belugas lying on the beach, an inflated seal skin to slow the animal and a kayak in the back.

Inuit man with harpooned whale, 1872. Photographer: J.L. Cotter
Hudson's Bay Company Archives HBCA Album 1/62 (N13761) 

Historical photo showing the hands of a woman dressed in traditional clothing ornamented with pearls, sewing animal skins using thread and a needle.

Woman sowing, 1947-1948
Richard Harrington, Library and Archives Canada PA-147059

Village church near a bay with mountains in the back.

Church in Kangiqsujuaq 

Historical photo of two men building an igloo using machetes, with close to them a sled. Behind one can see a bay and a cliff.

Building an igloo, Little Whale River, 1872
James Laurence Cotter, McCord Museum Collection, MP-0000.391.1

Historical photo of a woman in traditional clothing seated inside a large tent where we see mattresses on the ground as well as a wood stove.

Woman sitting inside a tent, Wakeham Bay, 1948
S.J. Bailey, Library and Archives Canada PA-167636

Two women sitting inside a traditional tent with cooking utensils and food around them.

Lizzie Sivuaraapik and Elisapie Tukalak
Winter camp, Puvirnituq

Historical photo of a man in traditional winter clothing holding a large quantity of animal skins, including those of arctic foxes and beavers.

Hudson’s Bay Company employee Charlie Kasudluak with otter and fox skins. Photographer: Richard Harrington. 
Hudson's Bay Company Archives HBCA 1987/363-F-225/53 

Rear view of a team of sled dogs at work. The sled moves on the icy surface of a lake in the direction of a sunset.

Dogsledding expedition at the end of the day

Winter view of a village's street with a school bus, a van and a few buildings, one topped with the flag of the province of Quebec. In the background one can see a mountain and the poles of the electrical grid.


Winter view of a village on the edge of a bay, with a snow-covered mountain in the background.


View of the base of a wooden building raised one meter from the ground on a foundation of concrete blocks and steel beams.

Concrete foundation blocks of a building

Spring scene of a child pushing a ball into a puddle of meltwater with a stick. In the foreground there is a stop sign and another sign for a street named Suppa Road.

Child playing in snowmelt water in Spring

Spring scene of two children back from school walking side by side on the edge of a road, in the direction of houses in the distance.

Back from school in Kuujjuaq

From a boat, night view of fuel tanks along a river. These tanks are illuminated, which creates reflections on the surface of the water.

Fuel tanks in Kuujjuaq

Panorama of Leaf Bay near Tasiujaq at dawn in summer. On the horizon one can see mountains and hills descending gently towards a bay. The first rays of the sun illuminate the landscape.

Leaf Bay in the morning 

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