When I think of Canada’s history, where we came from and what this beautiful Country has to offer, my mind goes back to my Great Grandfather, John Michelin. A Metis trapper hailing from a remote town in Labrador, he was an outspoken supporter of Newfoundland and Labrador relinquishing their Dominion, and finally joining Canada in 1949. My Great Grandfather had a voracious love for the Canadian wilderness. Bravely traversing the land and water to immerse himself in the beautiful Labrador landscape, which in those days, very few had seen.
Notably, he led a hunting trip in 1930 with Elliot Merrick and his wife Kay, covering 300 miles over an unforgiving winter, they faced many trials and tribulations, and came out with a true appreciation for the gloried beauty and wildness of the land they traversed. This adventure became the subject of the book, ‘True North’ by Elliott Merrick.
Also of note is a feature in the July 1951 issue of National Geographic, in a story called “Labrador Canoe Adventure”. The authors, led by my Great Grandfather and his cousin, Leslie, would relive the details of the grueling, ambitious and sometimes frightening guided adventure to Grand Falls (known as Churchill Falls today, see picture). It is an interesting glimpse into a simpler time, where the importance of knowing the land, and its flora and fauna are a matter of survival.
To me, John Michelin is the definition of a true Canadian, with his deep appreciation for this great land we live on. I am proud to be a part of his legacy.
Cheri C – Triovest