Rae Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Northwest Regional Heritage FairProject:
I compared two explorers, John Rae and John Franklin on how they respected the protocols of the Aboriginal people they met. I used the same criteria to judge my own behaviour.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
I learned how to 'Pay the Water'. It is when you put something like a willow branch into the water and ask for safe travels when you are out on the land. You should also say thanks to the water. When you pay the water you are also showing respect.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
Protocols are behaviours of a culture. When you travel to a new area it is respectful to follow the protocols of that place. John Rae was more respectful than John Franklin because he learned the traditions and languages of the people he met. He also made friends.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
When explorers came to Canada long ago they assumed their way of life was better and more 'civilized'. Today, I hope we know that we should only judge each other by our personalities and actions rather than by their personal traits.