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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   93

able to haul somewhat larger loads, find their own subsistence in the moss which covers practically all of the sub-arctic region. No matter how cold the weather, or how deep the snow, the deer can paw their way down to the moss and thus keep themselves in good condition on the longest and roughest trips. Another point in favour of deer is that, should misfortune overtake a party of Arctic travellers and it become necessary to kill the transport animals for food, the flesh of the deer is palatable and nourishing, while only dire necessity would impel anyone to use dogs for food.

"It seems to have been the idea of the United States government that the establishment of large herds of domesticated reindeer in Alaska would be a long step in the direction of solving the transportation problem of that district and, in addition, would, to a considerable extent, provide a food supply for the natives who otherwise would, from time to time, become charges upon the public treasury.

"This experiment by the United States government was followed with great interest by many Canadians who were interested in the development of our northern territories, and particularly by Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, who, in connection with his medical missionary work on the Labrador coast, found himself confronted by practically the same conditions that obtained in Alaska, viz.: severe climate, absence of means of winter transportation other than dogs, and scarcity of food supply for natives and fishermen during periods of unusually severe weather.

"At Dr. Grenfell's r equest, the Dominion Government, in The Reindeer 1907, purchased a herd of some 300 Norwegian reindeer. in Labrador   These were handed over to Dr. Grenfell to be used by him

in connection with his work. It was originally intended that the herd should be established on the North shore of the gulf of St. Lawrence, but he finally decided that his mission station at St. Anthony, on the northeast coast of Newfoundland, was a more suitable place for the experiment. There is an abundance of reindeer moss at, or near, St. Anthony, the climate is in all respects suitable and, should occasion require it, the deer can readily be shipped from there to any desired point on the Labrador coast as conveniently as from the point first selected.

"Dr. Grenfell's experiment proved successful from the start and his herd of reindeer now numbers over 1,200. A considerable number of stags and barren does have been killed for food and there have been the usual unavoidable losses by death and accident. He reported in May, 1911, that the meat is excellent and the skins valuable and that, in his opinion, reindeer will, in the future, be as valuable in Labrador as in Alaska and will afford an export industry of meat from a district


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