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Elise Lapine, Louis Martin, and Madeleine Whiteknife

Elise Lapine, Louis Martin, and Madeleine Whiteknife were a trio of traditional hunters and trappers from Fort Chipewyan, Alberta whom Terry Garvin encountered and profiled in 1980. At the time of their profile, the three friends were engaged in their yearly tradition of setting up a spring hunting and fishing camp southwest of Fort Chipewyan, a tradition they had kept up for more than sixty years. The spring camp was set up in a place where fish moving along their predictable migration routes were caught for food and for market, and where muskrats were snared for their pelts, also intended for market.

Work at the camp was divided along traditional gender lines. Louis had the responsibility of fishing and hunting, while the trapping, curing, and preparation of pelts and fish meat was left to Elise and Madeleine. Louis would fish in a Chipewyan skiff, using fine mesh gill nets to catch fish stock. The catch would be taken back to camp where the fish would be cleaned, cut, and cured by the women. Captured muskrats would have their pelts removed, cleaned, and cured to prepare them for market or for personal use.

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