Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

An individual that vanishes is one thing, but how about an entire village of 2,000 men, women and children? In November, 1930, a fur trapper named Joe Labelle made his way on snow shoes to an Eskimo village on the shores of Lake Anjikuni in northern Canada. Labelle was familiar with the village, which he knew as a thriving fishing community of about 2,000 residents. When he arrived, however, the village was deserted. All of the huts and storehouses were vacant. He found one smoldering fire on which there was a pot of blackened stew. Labelle notified the authorities and an investigation was begun, and which turned up some bizarre findings: no footprints of any of the residents were found, if they had vacated the village; all of the Eskimos’ sled dogs were found buried under a 12-foot-high snow drift – they had all starved to death; all of the Eskimos’ food and provisions were found undisturbed in their huts. And there was one last unnerving discovery: the Eskimos’ ancestral graves had been emptied.

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