Travel to Fort McPherson
Good morning Inuvik! We first bought groceries at Stantons Grocery Store. We bought food for 10 days as well as snacks for 8 workshop days, the Stanton employees so kindly packed it all in boxes for us! Then we needed to squeeze in all our luggage…it was a game of tetris that we won! Lucky we have such a big rental car though…
Then after connecting with Jeanetta in Fort McPherson on the phone (she is the assistant youth and elder coordinator ) before we leave making plans to meet her…it’s off to find the Dempster highway. By leaving at 11am, we get to travel in daylight!!
We pass the Nihtak day-use area, the Ehjuu Njik day-use area, Gwich’in Territorial Campground and the Vadzaih (caribou) Van Tsik Campground, small blue signs at the side of the road. Otherwise it is snow capped spruce trees and more snow capped spruce trees.
It is a COLD but pretty day. When the sun comes out in a Tom Thomson painting kind of way we stop to take a few photos. We also stop when we get over the Mackenzie River ICE BRIDGE! Yup the ice bridge.
Mary Jane, being that she was born in Fort McPherson, is familiar with this stretch of road so she points out landmarks along the way, for instance; “That electrical tower tells us we are 15 minutes away from Tsiigehtchic! ” Tsiigehtchic is the Gwich’in community at the confluence of the Mackenzie and the Arctic Red Rivers. (Right where the ice bridge is).
Exactly 2 hours and 15 minutes and 4 listens to Kitty Wells greatest hits, we are in Fort McPherson! It has been years in the making but finally Our World gets to visit Tetlit Gwitchin Territory, and who better to share this with than Mary Jane Moses, Gwich’in filmmaker, a friend since 2008. Such a privilege.
We head right to the Tetlit Gwich’in Tribal Council Office where we meet Jeanetta and Ruby and Abe 1 and 2 and Michael! Helloo! Everyone is so welcoming and interested in the film screening and workshop! Also Mary Jane knows everyone, they are either her friends or family. We have a celebrity with us!
Jeanetta leads us first to the house the mentors will be billeted at - thanks to Vicky for sharing her home-super cozy! And then to the Christian Fellowship Church to drop off the gear. We meet a young person, Esther, who is keen to make a film. Yay!
We then drop Jeanetta off back at work (MAHSI, for all the help carrying our gear and getting the word out for the screening!) and then drop off Mary Jane at her sisters house.
We have a couple hours to chill …until the screening TONIGHT…