“I went North with the Hudson’s Bay Company in April of 1969, a young guy of 19 with a lot of curiosity about Inuit and the Arctic. I was also a kabloona, or white man, embarking on a journey that would shape me for the rest of my life.
My preliminary interview was at the Hudson’s Bay Company fur-buying warehouse in my home town of North Bay, Ontario. My brother had been doing some trapping while at high school and we sometimes went in to the HBC to buy a trap or two, or sell a few of his furs there. So I was familiar with the place.
I guess I passed the test, and next thing I was off to Winnipeg for more paperwork, a medical, and a bit of dental work. Then it was off to Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island, at 69° North, or about 3° above the Arctic Circle. I flew with the district manager in the company’s DC3 on skis. We got weathered in at Churchill, Manitoba for a couple days along the way.”