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The Peoples, Their Places

Through the Mackenzie Basin: Edmonton to Lesser Slave Lake

".Shortly after our arrival at the Landing, news, true or false, reached us that the ice was still fast on Lesser Slave Lake. At any rate, the boat's crew expected from there did not turn up, and a couple of days were spent in anxious waiting. Some freight was delayed as well, and a thunderstorm and a night of rain set the camp in a swim. The non-arrival of our trackers was serious, as we had two scows and a York boat, with a party all told of some fifty souls, and only thirteen available trackers to start with. It seemed more than doubtful whether we could reach Lesser Slave Lake on treaty-schedule time, and the anxiety to push on Tracking up the athabasca was great. It was decided to set out as we were and trust to the chapter of accidents. We did not foresee the trials before us, the struggle up a great swift river, with contrary winds, rainy weather, weak tracking lines and a weaker crew. The chapter of accidents opened, but not in the expected manner."[continue]

Reprinted from Through the Mackenzie Basin: An Account of the Signing of Treaty No. 8 and the Scrip Commission, 1899 by Charles Mair.