January 1, 1906
Cancer isn't worried about by those eating native diets.
All this was conversational stock in trade on the river in 1906; and, to a slightly lesser extent, also during my second journey, in 1908. There were humorous tales of amateur dentistry against toothache, and far from humorous ones of scurvy through which teeth came loose and finally dropped out, as death approached.
Speaking of the Klondikers, everybody was saying what the bishop had been the first to tell me — that, so far as scurvy was concerned, those tenderfeet were best off who brought the least food with them. For the Athapaskans would not see them die of hunger; and they fed the tenderfeet on medium-cooked fresh fish and game, to the general benefit of their health and the complete avoidance of scurvy.
No one, that I can remember, was seriously worried about cancer; nor was I myself particularly interested. As intimated, I now remember about malignant disease from my first journey chiefly that Bishop Reeve thought it to belong to a group of ills which had behind them nutritional issues. But I do remember noticing more talk of cancer as we approached the Eskimo country, to the effect that the New England whalers, who wintered among the Eskimos east and west of the Mackenzie delta, could find no more cancer among them than missionaries and fur traders had been able to find among the Athapaskans — meaning none. The bishop said he had discussed this with other missionaries who knew more than he did about the Eskimos; I think he mentioned the bishops Bompas and Stringer, and that he had sent messages through Stringer to the whaling captains bolstering their seacoast results with his own from the interior.
July 20, 1906
The man who started the search for cancer.
It was probably at the Arctic Red River (where on July 20, 1906, I first saw an Eskimo) that I first heard of Captain Leavitt, who, I found later, was known on the lower Mackenzie, as well as on the shores of the western Canadian Arctic, as “the man who started the search for cancer.” Or perhaps I first heard of Leavitt the next day, July 21, at Fort McPherson, where I met John Firth, Hudson's Bay Company factor, destined to be my friend until his death two decades later. In later years we talked a great deal of Leavitt, whom Firth admired, and whose search for cancer in northeastern Siberia, the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and northwestern Canada, led a half century later to the writing of this book.
January 26, 2005
DIETARY NUTRIENTS AND ANTHROPOMETRY OF DENE/MÉTIS AND YUKON CHILDREN
Modern Eskimo populations eat 200+ grams of carbs and experience chronic disease as young as 10 years of age.
ABSTRACT Objective. To describe nutrient intakes and anthropometry of 10-12-year-old Dene/Métis and Yukon children in the Canadian Arctic. Study design. 24h-recall interviews (n = 222 interviews) were conducted on Canadian Dene/Métis and Yukon children in five communities during two seasons in 2000 – 2001; the children were measured for height and weight (n = 216). Methods. Assessment of nutrient adequacy used Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) including cutpoint procedures. Anthropometric measurements (height and weight) were assessed and body mass index (BMI) was compared to the 2000 CDC Growth Charts. Results. Thirty-two percent of the children were above the 85th percentile of BMI-for-age. More than 50 percent of children were below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for vitamins A and E, phosphorus and magnesium; mean intakes were below the Adequate Intake (AI) for vitamin D, calcium, dietary fiber, omega-6 fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. Nutrients that were probably adequate for some gender/season groups were protein, carbohydrate, iron, copper, selenium, zinc, manganese, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and C. Conclusions. Excessive prevalence of overweight and inadequacy of some nutrients were observed among Dene/Métis and Yukon children, suggesting a necessity for dietary improvement. However, many nutrients were adequate, in some cases probably due to continued traditional food use. (Int J Circumpolar Health 2005;64(2):147-156.) Key words: Indigenous people, arctic children, nutrient intake, anthropometry