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Accession number: 
Production Years: 
Release Year: 


Film Properties: 
Length (feet): 
1058 (16mm)
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick: DVD.

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario: 16mm.

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario: 16mm, VHS.

York University, Toronto, Ontario: 16mm.

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia: 16mm.
"Pictures a group of Montagnais Indians as they travel from the St. Lawrence River to the edge of the tundra in search of caribou. Suggests that there is a primitive mystique of the hunt which remains today and substantiates that idea with a story about the drum dance."

Library and Archives Canada: 16mm, beta SP.
"Details the Montagnais (Innu) tribe and the experience of the caribou (Attiuk) hunt. The tribe live on a reserve named La Romaine (Olomanshibou) along the St. Lawrence river near the Strait of Belles Isles. Although considered catholic through the teachings of the missionary, many traditional beliefs have been retained including the ritual of the caribou. In preparation for the hunt, women are shown making snow-shoes and a man in the village makes a drum - both from the skin of the caribou. There is a mystique surrounding the hunt, the Innu believe in a spiritual connection existing between themselves and the caribou. The drummer is responsible for the rhythm that brings the dream and the dream that brings the hunt. All hunts are first accomplished in a dream before they can become reality. Without the rhythm of the drum beat, which all hunters are possessed by, the pace of the hunters could not be sustained. Scenes from the voyage of the hunt include setting up camp - using branches for tent poles and spruce bows for bedding, and a hunter digging for water through two feet of snow and four feet of ice. The water is used to make tea since melted ice or snow are not used unless out of sheer necessity. The community is shown coming together for a dance featuring the caribou drum. The dance is a way of reliving the hunting of the past and discovering the hunting of the future. The ritual is designed to place the spirit of the hunters on the trail of the caribou. Footage from the hunt is cross-cut with scenes from this community gathering. At the conclusion of the hunt following the kill, the hunters discuss the final moments. All are aware in advance who will actually shoot the caribou, the hunter with the greatest skill and experience. Later, back in the village, this hunter is shown telling the story to the missionary. The community is shown eating chilled marrow and fat, a special treat eaten in a particular order. The older men, considered to have less time left to enjoy it, go first followed by the younger male hunters. Women eat next, providing there is any left, and the final quantity is shared by the children."

"Une demi-heure à l'écart du XXe siècle, avec les Montagnais de la réserve de La Romaine, près du détroit de Belle-Isle."

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta: 16mm.
"Depicts the nomadic existence of the Montagnais Indian tribe living on the Reserve of Olomanshibou (La Romaine) near the strait of Belle Isle. Deep-rooted superstition still surrounds the hunt for the vanishing caribou. Before every hunt a ritual drum dance is performed so that the drum, made of the skin of a caribou (Attiuk), may guide the hunters to the kill."
From the Catalogue of 16mm Educational Motion Pictures. Published by the Educational Media Division, Department of Extension, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 1967.


Online Database National Film Board of Canada:
"To understand the life of the Montagnais, you have to walk twelve days on snowshoes as far as Lake Musquaro in search of the caribou, following a dream contained within the skins of the drum that the elders patiently craft, like a canoe. The hunters hunt the caribou, which provide the skins for their drums which give them their dreams, which brings them the caribou."

"Pour bien comprendre la vie des Montagnais il faut parcourir toutes les neiges en raquettes jusqu'au lac Musquaro... durant 12 jours, en quête du caribou, en suivant les traces du rêve contenu entre les deux parois du tambour que les sages construisent lentement, comme s'il s'agissait d'un canot, et le chasseur suit les traces du caribou, le caribou qui leur a donné la peau du tambour, le tambour qui donne le rêve, le rêve qui donne le caribou."

University of Waterloo Audiovisual Services Catalog:
"This film shows the nomadic existence of the Montagnais tribe living on the Indian Reserve of Olomanshibou (La Romaine) near the Strait of Belle Isle. Before every hunt a ritual drum dance is performed."