Julian Nanamahoo was a hunter and trapper who worked a trapline in the region of Gods Lake, Alberta. His activities were recorded and photographed by Terry Garvin in 1995. Mr. Nanamahoo told a story of how traditional values in the north were being preserved by some, but changed by others.
Julian Nanamahoo was highly schooled in trapline living, and worked along a traditional trapline supplemented by a series of remote line cabins. Skilled in the uses of the forest, Julian could demonstrate the making and use of a birchbark bugle for the purposes of luring and hunting moose during mating season. He also practiced native spiritual traditions such as making an offering of kinnickinnick, traditional tobacco, to a gravesite by Trout Lake. By offering kinnickinnick to the land he was not only honoring the dead, but also reinforcing a belief that the land would continue to yield sustenance as long as it was respected.
In the north, a trapline cabin is expected to be left unlocked. Cabins and shelters were not locked, and supplies and equipment were left out in the open because they might prove to be the only available provisions for a trapper or hunter in a remote part of the bush. Julian Nanamahoo kept up this tradition, but paid for it at the hands of those who did not respect such values. A flint rifle that he kept in his cabin was stolen by thieves a few years before he was profiled by Terry Garvin. This may have come about because new overland routes to natural resources were opened up by heavy industries working in the region. These new trails have made some of the old line cabins more accessible to people traveling on all-terrain vehicles throughout the year. This access led to an increase in the vandalism of line cabins that, by northern Aboriginal tradition, were to be kept open to strangers as a help to them if they needed it.