The Caribou Hunters

Stephen Greenlees
Production Date: 
Tom Daly
John Drainie, speaking for the Cree people
Run Time: 
National Film Board of Canada

Establishing shot: Map of Canada, "Brochet"
Named locations: Manitoba, Northern Canada, Brochet Post (Hudson's Bay Company)
Major themes covered: Canadian Indians survive by hunting caribou in Northern Manitoba
Native activities shown:  Church-going, dogsledding, trapping, hunting, daily life.

  1. The short film begins with a funeral of the baby, Peter Cook.
  2. Chippewa man (John de Neergan) prepares materials to set up trap lines to catch minks with the help of sleigh dogs.
  3. George Michel rides the sleigh and finds beaver house. He will come back next season to trap the beavers and leave a pair to breed. He then finds a mink in another hide and rides the sleigh away.
  4. Solomon Cook stops and sleigh, takes out a pair of snowshoes, puts them on and collects some woods to set up a tent. He also melts snow to make tea.
  5. The caribou hunters return to the camp and feed the dogs.
  6. Women making moccasin and leather/ fur products. Close-up shots on the products.
  7. The caribou hunters bring the products (beaver and otter fur) to the Hudson’s Bay Company, a trading post, to sell beaver and otter fur.
  8. Caribou hunter plays harmonica with people (an old man, a boy and a woman) and they all look happy.
  9. People move according to where they can hunt caribou.
  10. Women do the house chores while men go out to hunt.
  11. Men and women are trapped in the camps when the weather is bad.
  12. After the bad weather, the caribou hunters and the dogs go out again to hunt caribou. They move across the frozen lake and into the woods. They find the fresh caribou tracks and know they are not far away from the caribou.
  13. They follow the tracks and find the caribou. They use guns to hunt the caribou. The hunter begins to skin the caribou and bring the caribou meat back to the camp.
  14. The caribou hunters eat the head of a caribou when they camp on the road for a night before going back to the camp.

Individuals Named:  Dead baby, Peter Cook; John de Neergan (02:47); George Michel (03:27); Solomon Cook (04:32)

Native language spoken: No.
Other notes: Edited by Victor Jobin; Music by Maurice Blackburn; Cinematography by Julien St-Georges.

See also:

National Film Board of Canada, Aboriginal Perspectives:

--Ying-wen Yu, 2012