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Click here to read chapter one of this mystery.
Tom Austen, while on a school exchange trip to the nothern community of Gjoa Haven, unravels the pieces of a conspiracy which could have seen Canada selling off its natural resources, even merging with the United States. The young amateur sleuth plays an important role in saving his country from a cruel, greedy, self-centered Prime Minister.
Do a web search on http://www.arcticomi.ca/2gjoa.html to discover some basic information about the history of Gjoa Haven, and about the community which now exists there. You will find that this site links to several other Nunavut communities.
Discuss in class some of the influences of alcohol and drugs in people’s lives, including the idea of "dry" communities.
Discuss the Mountie’s comment on page 101, "Violence leads to more violence. ...No one is perfect, so I forgive. In this way my heart is peaceful". Consider what the Inuit feel is the "ultimate maturity" (p. 96).
- Why was Canadian Prime Minister James Dunbar speaking in Winnipeg?
- The term Inuit is used for people of the north. Eskimo is no longer a suitable term. Why?
- To what did Professor Dunbar attribute the failure of the Franklin expedition of the 19th century?
- How did Decker plan to blackmail the Prime Minister?
- Why did Prime Minister Dunbar not wish to meet with his father in Winnipeg?
- Why is fresh fruit such a luxury to people in the north?
- Have you figured out "the code"? Tom uses two coded messages on page 83. What do they say?
- "Like other places in Gjoa, the door wasn’t locked". What does this tell you about the community?
- When a professional freelance writer uses an expression like, "There’s gotta be tags around" (p. 54), what would that indicate?
- Comment on this statement by the Mountie: "We must work together, the young and the old, to cherish our land and protect it."
- What do you think about using dead polar bears as "trophies"?
- Could U-SAC ever become a reality? How would it change your life?
- Prepare a report on how the Inuit lived long ago, and how the people live now. Point out the advantages of each lifestyle.
- Learn all you can about the Arctic Games. Which events would be the most challenging, and which the most fun?
- Learn all you can about the famous RCMP vessel, the St. Roch.
Draw an arrow from the Inuit word on the left to its English meaning. ANSWERS
Answers will be found on pages indicated.
||KNIFE FOR EATING CARIBOU (p. 56)
||SEAL (p. 76)
||KNIFE FOR CUTTING SNOW (p. 76)
||POLAR BEAR (p. 130)
||MUSKOXEN (p. 87)
||WHITE MAN (p. 36)
||ONE PERSON (p. 37)
||WOODEN SLED (p. 55)
||FUR FOOTWEAR (p. 60)
||LARGE SNOW HOUSE (p. 65)
||STRING GAME (p. 89)
Copyright (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
- He was there to promote U-SAC, the union of the United States and Canada. (p. 2)
- The northern people do not like being called "eaters of raw meat". (p. 19)
- Dunbar believes that Franklin would not accept help or advice from the Inuit. (p. 23)
- Decker recorded a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister about the shooting of Professor Dunbar. He planned to edit the tape, then blackmail the Prime Minister. (p. 30)
- The Prime Minister knew that his father would berate him for trying to sell out his own country. (p. 11)
- It is very expensive to have goods brought in by barge, or to have them flown in, and there is a great time factor in keeping fruit fresh. (p. 57)
- ARENA and CEMETERY
- Everyone trusts everyone else. They do not need locked doors.
- One might question his abilities as a professional writer when he uses such poor grammar.
- – 15. Answers will vary.
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