Bloody Falls are rapids located about 15 km above the mouth of the COPPERMINE RIVER in the central Arctic. The falls were named by European explorer Samuel HEARNE in 1771, after he witnessed the massacre of local INUIT by a group of CHIPEWYAN travelling with his expedition. The Chipewyan leader was MATONABBEE. In later times the place was used as an important summer fishing site by the COPPER INUIT. It was also a stop on the route to the interior, where the Inuit got native copper and wood from the forests that begin 20 km upstream.
A view of the Bloody Falls and the surrounding landscape. From Panioyak, You Tube.
At Bloody Falls, archaeologists discovered traces of Inuit occupation dating to about 1500 AD. The area was also occupied previously by Palaeoeskimos around 1300 BC, and by Indian caribou hunters between roughly 500 BC and 500 AD. For more than 3000 years, this place probably marked a zone of tension between First Nations and Inuit cultures.
Bloody Falls was declared a National HISTORIC SITE in 1978. The place is now part of Kugluk (Bloody Falls) Territorial Park in NUNAVUT. The Inuit still use it as a fishing camp.
Samuel Hearne, explorer The literary artistry of Hearne's "A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort...," published 3 years after his death, secured his fame in letters as well as exploration, engraving, 1796 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-20053).
Links to Other Sites Kabloona Talk
About Sharon Pollock’s compelling play based on early 20th century court proceedings involving two Inuit hunters charged with the murder of two Catholic priests. From the website for the Stuck in a Snowbank Theatre in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
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