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Oowikapun How the Gospel Reached the Nelson River Indians   By: (1840-1909)

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Oowikapun, How the Gospel Reached the Nelson River Indians, By Reverend Egerton Ryerson Young.

An interesting book, written largely from the point of view of an Indian, Oowikapun, who, when out hunting, receives a severe wound from a bear, and is looked after by a converted Christian Indian, who has such a different outlook on life from that of Oowikapun, for instance in the treatment of his womenfolk.

The book goes on from there, and eventually a missionary is sent for to the Nelson River, who delivers himself of an enormously long sermon, of several hours duration, which apparently the occasion demanded.

There are many very interesting commentaries on the way of life of the Indians and of the missionaries. The point is made that the size of the area covered by each missionary may be as large as the whole of France, or the whole of Germany, which makes strongly the point that much of a missionary's life is spent travelling by canoe or dog train.


Or, How the Gospel Reached the Nelson River Indians.



That Oowikapun was unhappy, strangely so, was evident to all in the Indian village. New thoughts deeply affecting him had in some way or other entered into his mind, and he could not but show that they were producing a great change in him.

The simple, quiet, monotonous life of the young Indian hunter was curiously broken in upon, and he could never be the same again. There had come a decided awakening; the circle of his vision had suddenly enlarged, and he had become aware of the fact that he was something more than he imagined. While, in his simple faith, he had paddled along the beautiful rivers, or wandered through the wild forests of his country, catching the fish or hunting the game, where at times he had heard the thunder's crash and seen the majestic tree riven by the lightning's power, and perhaps in these seasons of nature's wild commotion had "seen God in cloud and heard him in the wind," yet until very lately he had never heard of anything which had caused him to imagine that he was in any way allied to that Great Spirit, or was in any way responsible to him.

What was the cause of this mental disquietude, of these long hours of absorbing thought?

To answer these inquiries we must go back a little, and accompany him on a hunting trip which he made in the forest months ago.

Hearing from some other hunters of a place where grey wolves were numerous, and being ambitious to kill some of these fierce brutes, that he might adorn his wigwam with their warm skins, he took his traps and camping outfit and set out for that region of country, although it was more than two hundred miles away. Here he found tracks in abundance, and so before he made his little hunting lodge in the midst of a spruce grove, he set his traps for the fierce wolves in a spot which seemed to be a rallying place of theirs. As they are very suspicious and clever, he carefully placed two traps close together and sprinkled them over with snow, leaving visible only the dead rabbits which served as bait. Then scattering more snow over his own tracks as he moved away, in order to leave as little evidence of his having been there as possible, he returned to his little tentlike lodge and prepared and ate his supper, smoked his pipe, and then wrapping himself up in his blanket was soon fast asleep. Very early next morning he was up and off to visit his traps. His axe was slipped in his belt, and his gun, well loaded, was carried ready for use if necessary. When he had got within a few hundred yards of the place where he had set his heavy traps, he heard the rattling of the chains which were attached to them, each fastened to a heavy log. This sound, while it made his heart jump, was very welcome, for it meant that he had been successful... Continue reading book >>

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