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DOXA festival, in the movie Traditional Trappings, Joe Peter (who was born in Old Crow in 1943), talked about his life as a trapper and showed us how to trap a muskrat by setting a trap at the entrance to the animal’s push up (house), on the little shelf where the muskrat perches to eat. You can watch the full video here (it’s short) and learn a few words in the Gwich’in language, too.
A few days later, a man told me that when he was a child in the ’40s—about the same time that Joe Peter was learning how to trap way up north—he and his friends used to trap muskrats in the ditches around the open fields of Kerrisdale (a now-posh neighbourhood in Vancouver) and sell them to the Hudson’s Bay Company raw fur buyer in the building at 321 Water Street (next door to my office). They got 90 cents a hide and maybe an extra dime for a big one—enough money for the Saturday afternoon matinee, plus donuts and a milkshake.