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Bloody Falls of the Coppermine: Madness and…
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Bloody Falls of the Coppermine: Madness and Murder in the Arctic Barren…

by Mckay Jenkins

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Finished yesterday. Overall a good read. I felt very bad for the Eskimo's. Why do those religion people think they have to go there, interfere in their lives? It was even a battle between religions who would get to them first? They brought sickness and nearly decimated the Eskimo people. It pissed me off sometimes. And what about that judge. Is that justice? wow! A judge cannot be so for or against a conviction nowadays, at least he can but cannot show this which is a good thing.
All in all an interesting and quick read. 3.5 stars. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
A very interesting account of a little known event in history, the murder of two priests in the Arctic, the search for the killers, and the subsequent trial. Jenkin's provides great research and insight into this crime, to the clash of cultures, the tough conditions of the Arctic, and the difficulty in dealing with this issues. For readers who like survival stories this is a really well written account. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Apr 1, 2010 |
In 1913, two Catholic priests headed to Northern Canada to convert the native Eskimos to Christianity. They were ill-equipped and did not speak the language. Both priests ended up being murdered and their livers were partially eaten to ward off evil spirits. The two suspects admitted to the crime and were taken to a Canadian court to be tried. The first trial was declared a mistrial, but the second ended up with a guilty verdict. This book was a classic in a clash of cultures. The priests had tried to explain the life of Jesus lived in the desert, when the Eskimos had no idea what they were talking about. The same went for trees, warm seas, etc. It was a good book and an easy read. I have read Jenkins' other books and this is as good as his others. ( )
  dickcraig | Feb 21, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375507213, Hardcover)

In the winter of 1913, high in the Canadian Arctic, two Catholic priests set out on a dangerous mission to do what no white men had ever attempted: reach a group of utterly isolated Eskimos and convert them. Farther and farther north the priests trudged, through a frigid and bleak country known as the Barren Lands, until they reached the place where the Coppermine River dumps into the Arctic Ocean.

Their fate, and the fate of the people they hoped to teach about God, was about to take a tragic turn. Three days after reaching their destination, the two priests were murdered, their livers removed and eaten. Suddenly, after having survived some ten thousand years with virtually no contact with people outside their remote and forbidding land, the last hunter-gatherers in North America were about to feel the full force of Western justice.

As events unfolded, one of the Arctic’s most tragic stories became one of North America’s strangest and most memorable police investigations and trials. Given the extreme remoteness of the murder site, it took nearly two years for word of the crime to reach civilization. When it did, a remarkable Canadian Mountie named Denny LaNauze led a trio of constables from the Royal Northwest Mounted Police on a three-thousand-mile journey in search of the bodies and the murderers. Simply surviving so long in the Arctic would have given the team a place in history; when they returned to Edmonton with two Eskimos named Sinnisiak and Uluksuk, their work became the stuff of legend.

Newspapers trumpeted the arrival of the Eskimos, touting them as two relics of the Stone Age. During the astonishing trial that followed, the Eskimos were acquitted, despite the seating of an all-white jury. So outraged was the judge that he demanded both a retrial and a change of venue, with himself again presiding. The second time around, predictably, the Eskimos were convicted.

A near perfect parable of late colonialism, as well as a rich exploration of the differences between European Christianity and Eskimo mysticism, Jenkins’s Bloody Falls of the Coppermine possesses the intensity of true crime and the romance of wilderness adventure. Here is a clear-eyed look at what happens when two utterly alien cultures come into violent conflict.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The author of The Last Ridge journeys to the Canadian Arctic to describe the murders of two Catholic priests during their 1913 mission to the Eskimos of the region, their cannibalization by Inuit hunters, the long and difficult quest to find the killers, and the two trials that followed, in a study of the sometimes violent conflict between disparate cultures. In the winter of 1913, high in the Canadian Arctic, two Catholic priests set out on a dangerous mission to reach a group of Eskimos and convert them. Upon reaching their destination, the two priests were murdered, their livers removed and eaten. Over the next three years, one of the Arctic's most tragic stories became one of North America's strangest and most memorable police investigations and murder trials. First, a remarkable Canadian Mountie led a trio of constables on a three-thousand-mile journey in search of the bodies and the murderers. Then, after the astonishing murder trial that followed, the Eskimos were acquitted of the charges, despite the fact that they were tried by an all-white jury. So outraged was the judge that he demanded a retrial-predictably, the second time around, the Eskimos were convicted. An almost perfect parable of colonialism, and a rich exploration of the differences between Christianity and Eskimo mysticism, Bloody Falls of the Coppermine combines the intensity of true crime and the romance of wilderness adventure. Ultimately, it is a clear-eyed look at what happens when two utterly different cultures come into violent conflict.… (more)

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