Hare - History and Cultural Relations

There is no evidence that the Hare have lived anywhere other than where they are today. Their neighbors are the Kutchin and Inuvialuit or Mackenzie Delta Inuit to the north, the yellowknife to the east, the Slavey and Bearlake to the south, and the Mountain to the west. Relations with these various groups have varied widely: the Hare greatly feared and avoided the Inuit, and they were bullied by the Yellowknife in the fur trade; some Hare Indians were formerly Mountain Indians, and others in the nineteenth century became part of the group then emerging as the so-called Bearlake Indians. Before the early nineteenth century, the Hare were only inDirectly affected by the European fur trade. By 1806, fifteen years after Alexander Mackenzie's voyage of exploration down the river that bears his name, a trading post had been established in the territory of the Hare. From that year on, the Hare participated directly in the trade, and many annually visited Fort Good Hope to exchange pelts and provisions for European goods. In 1859, the Roman Catholic Oblates arrived and several years later built a mission and church for the Hare, who in time became nominal Catholics, many gathering for three religious celebrations each year. Throughout the nineteenth century, the Hare were periodically affected by epidemic diseases.

In 1921, the Hare signed Treaty 11 with Canada. After World War II, the government became involved in almost every aspect of Hare life through health, education, game, and social welfare programs and regulations. The numbers of Whites living among the Hare increased—by 1972, to 50 Whites in a population of about 370 Hare Indians at Fort Good Hope.

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Tori Pettit
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Apr 10, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

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