Program for Guests
Jordanna Benuen, Pashin Penunsi, Makatan Pinette Benuen, Uashekan Benuen with large Kukumes at Kamestastin. Photo: Paul Piggot (larger version)
There will be opportunities to fish for lake trout and arctic char; to see the awe-inspiring annual migration of the world's largest caribou herd; to witness skills such as snowshoe-making, canoe building, and the preparation of hides. Or just to enjoy the unimaginable peace and beauty of a landscape little changed since the end of the last ice age.
5000 year old "Maritime Archaic" period ancestral Innu camp site at Mistanipishipis, Kamestastin. Photo: Anthony Jenkinson (larger version)
The archaeology at Kamestastin gives us a glimpse into the last 8,000 years of life in Labrador and northern Quebec, from the retreat of the last glaciers to the present day. Working with Innu youth and elders and a team of Smithsonian archaeologists, you will have a chance to learn and discover these histories for yourself.
Camp Life
At Kamestastin a caribou skin newly tanned is spread out by Matnen Benuen after being smoked.Photo: Anthony Jenkinson (larger version)
You will be able to see and join in all the activities of a hunting camp: smoking fish and meat; preparing and working hides; hand-building a canoe; snowshoe-making; attending a mukushan, the celebratory meal of thanksgiving to Kanapanikasikueu, the caribou god; listening to Innu stories about heroes, monsters, and animal spirits around the fire and much more.
Spring camp in June, Euinuatsh, Kamestastin. Photo: Anthony Jenkinson (larger version)
Innu culture is based on a deep respect for the animals, and trophy hunting is seen as wasteful and disrespectful. Visitors can, however, take part in subsistence hunting of a number of species, including porcupine and ptarmigan, and in the spring and fall, caribou.
Richard Nuna with arctic char at Kamestastin Ekupitats. Photo: Anthony Jenkinson (larger version)
Kamestastin and the other lakes of the region are home to healthy stocks of huge lake trout as well as large orange-bellied arctic char (a close relative of the salmon that takes a fly readily and puts up a spectacular fight).
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