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January 31, 2002

Bear Island loses power 

Power to 25 homes on Bear Island, in the centre of Lake Temagami, has been lost due to a defective underwater cable. Hydro One utility workers were out on Lake Temagami on snowmobiles yesterday, but had to quit when darkness came. They expect to restore power today. Bear Island is the home of the Temagami First Nation. 

January 23, 2002

Bear sleepless in Temagami 

An adult bear was on the move January 8 near the Temagami village landfill, according to a story in the January issue of The Temagami Talker. The astounding sighting was made by local prospector and trapper Bob Comstock. 

January 22, 2002

Temagami Winter Carnival Feb 15-17

Despite the mild weather, Temagami Winter Carnival organizers aren't deterred. They have launched a website that will be updated as the schedule gets firmed up. W E B S I T E

January 21, 2002

Dispatch from Lake Temagami Hub

Tim Gooderham lives in the Hub of Lake Temagami at the end of the Mine Road.  

It got all the way down to minus 24 the other night and that's the coldest so far this year. Other than that, it hasn't been that cold. 

The lake trails are NOT open. OFSC (Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs) trails are certainly not open, either here or in West Nipissing. In many places an ice chisel goes right through in one bash. And just to make the cheese more binding, we continue to be dribbled on by snow so that the very thin ice is nicely insulated. It's a weird year!

January 19, 2002

Dispatch from Obabika River

Alex Mathias, a Teme-Augama Anishnabai, is Obabika Lake's most northern resident, living on his family's traditional lands. 

All the lakes are frozen. They are safe for snowmobilers, but I wouldn't put a truck on a lake. Obabika Lake has been safe to travel for about week. There is eight to ten inches of ice at the north end here.

Ling have started to run at the mouth of the river. I net them and we use just about everything, including the eggs and liver. The guts and heads are cooked for dog food. 

I'm starting a dog team this winter. My last team was in 1966. I know with dog teams you never blow a piston or drive belt. It might take you a little longer to get there, but you're going to get there.

January 10, 2002

Dispatch from Sandy Inlet

Bob Olajos is Lake Temagami's most northern resident, living at Camp Wanapitei on Sandy Inlet. He sent this:

Apparently the good folks at Bear Island were boating to Temagami Island, then snowmobiling to the Mine Landing for groceries on Saturday. (I'd have been eating pine bark and snowballs if I were them.)  Today, though there is still open water near Bear Island and Cattle Island, they can now snowmobile by following the shoreline. 

Sandy Inlet and Ferguson Bay are frozen, but south of there you could likely still paddle almost to Wabun. Red Squirrel River is open. Snowmobiles are travelling on some of the other lakes. For instance, I was following a track on Thieving Bear Lake on Saturday, and I know there are ice huts on Diamond. Red Squirrel is icebound, but only for about a week, and with temperatures just below freezing at that. 

The long and the short of it: bad ice so far. No deep freeze in sight. And if we get snow first, count on bad slush too.

Cover of video: Temagami: A Journey Through Rites of Passage

January 8, 2002

Film reveals a hidden side of Temagami

Every summer teenagers and young adults go to Temagami for an education, not in canoeing or camping, but in life. The canoe-tripping camps and the outdoor-ed programs quietly offer this experience, but few know about it or understand it. A new film has done a remarkable job of demystifying one of Temagami's great assets, this unique education.

Temagami: A Journey Through Rites of Passage tells the story of a group of city teenagers on a three-week canoe trip at Northwaters Wilderness Program. It begins with their unfocussed, angst-ridden lives in the city, and follows their personal travails and, sometimes tearful, emotional transformation in the wilds of Temagami  their rites of passage.  

"If you don't have that adequate rite of passage where the wisdom of the culture and the wisdom of the community are transferred or given in some way to the youth," says Barry Williams in the film, "nothing can happen. He or she remains caught in a kind of eternal adolescence."  

The film is the project of outdoor educator David Knudsen, director of Northwaters, who is in the film during the canoe trip. He is passionate about bringing ritual back into the lives of young people and about Temagami. And Temagami is captured on many levels.

Virginia McKenzie of the Teme-Augama Anishnabai speaks from the heart about the environmental threat. "It hurts me to know that maybe my grandchildren won't be able to feel the freshness of the land and the freshness of the water and the trees. What are we teaching our children by not caring for something that gives us life?" 

There's a scene where the trip comes across a moose feeding at water's edge. The moose hesitates, uncertain about the intrusion. Everyone sits silently, floating in their canoes, watching, drinking in the moment as the moose stares back. It reminds me of one of the great lines in the film: "This is a holy place. It's worth treating as a holy place."

This film deserves to be on the shelf of everyone who is truly passionate about Temagami. It is available on video from Temagami Films.

Temagami: A Journey Through Rites of Passage

Format: VHS

Run Time: 53 min.

Producer: Great Atlantic and Pacific Film Company

BUY THE VIDEO:  Temagami Films  




January 5, 2002

Lake Temagami partially frozen

Photo: ice on Lake Temagami, Jan. 5, 2002

Lake Temagami creeps toward freeze-up. There is now six-inch-thick ice between Temagami Island and the end of the road, and people are traveling to Bear Island. But the arms are not frozen, nor is the area in front of High Rock (see Santa photo). Winds are low, but with temperatures last night only down to -2 C, complete freeze-up lags. Photo: Tim Gooderham.

January 4, 2002

Ottertooth.com wins Golden Web Award

This site has won the Golden Web Award for excellence in design, originality and content. The award is presented by the International Association of Webmasters and Designers.

January 2, 2002

Ecotourism conference promotes a Temagami vision

Long a dream for many in Temagami, northern ecotourism will attract attention at the Eco-North 2002 conference next month. It has attracted high-profile speakers, including one from National Geographic Adventurer magazine, and of course, Temagami's own Hap Wilson, Caryn Coleman (Smoothwater Outfitters) and Virginia McKenzie (Temagami Anishnabai Tipi Camp). Lots of dollars are being thrown behind the conference, being held February 6-10 in Sudbury.

         WEBSITE: Eco-North 2002

January 1, 2002

Lake Temagami still ice free

Photo: Santa, New Year's Day, open water, Lake Temagami, 2002

                                                     Photo: Bob Farr

Santa (Gerry Burrows) pickerel fishing on New Year's Day in front of High Rock Island.


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