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By Peter Pitseolak
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Additional resources for People from Our Side: A Life Story with Photographs and Oral Biography
The white people didn't like to call him his Eskimo name, Tooeemee, so they called him Joe. Tooeemee was the first person I knew in my lifetime to speak English. Way before I was born he had worked for people who were making a map. All the boats had dogs with them. We had to breed our dogs all over again. We bought two bitches and a male. The male dog was a half breed. Years before the white men had brought their dogs and they'd bred with the huskies. That dog never howled or barked but he was all right.
That was the custom. Nobody minded - unless people were sneaky about it. If a man felt jealous, he would say to himself, "I am just as bad as they," and try to cure himself of being jealous. I've heard only the immediate family came with Etidluie along the coast of Arctic Quebec. But I don't know how many made the crossing. In those days they had the shamans and the shamans had a way of arriving. People were not allowed to step on the land before they said their saying. At the time it was the custom.
But that caribou Pootoogook shot was still moving a bit. My father gave me the bow and arrow and maybe somebody held my arms to help me. I shot and grazed the caribou. My family told me I was a great hunter. On the way to Lake Harbour there used to be a camp called Aulassivik - the caribou training ground. It used to be very important. This was a place where they trained caribou. ' Farmers have fences, the Inuit didn't have fences, but they used to keep the caribou in these places. They didn't stay with them all the time; the caribou wouldn't go away.
People from Our Side: A Life Story with Photographs and Oral Biography by Peter Pitseolak