The Ancient and Idle Attawapiskat Wars

“Chief Theresa Spence’s moderate hunger strike is the polar opposite of the war tactics of the 17th and 18th century Indians of James and Hudson’s Bay. The lowlands of the northern forest, their shorelines and muskegs were hotly contested by the Cree and Inuit prior to the arrival of the Europeans, as the latter moved further and further south. The fur-traders turned the tide in favor of Indians, who were first able to trade for guns; the Inuit were initially kept unarmed by Hudson’s Bay Company policy. The armed Cree turned with a vengeance on their Eskimo rivals. Following many of the massacres their warriors would eat an inch of raw Eskimo flesh, often a piece of fat cut from the thigh of the scalped, slain victims. Women and children, if not killed, were adopted into families or taken as slaves.