For the first time, Nunavut elder visits sister’s grave site in Nunavik
Maggie Gordon travels to "old Tasiujaq" to see the grave of Penina Gordon
It was a bittersweet visit back home for 74-year-old Maggie Gordon, who has lived in Iqaluit since 1962, as she visited the grave site of her late sister near Tasiujaq for the first time on Aug. 14.
The grave site lies at the site of the old Leaf Bay trading post near the village of Tasiujaq, also referred to as “old Tasiujaq,” where both the Hudson Bay Co. and the rival Révillon Frères traders set up trading posts during the 1920s and 1930s.
“Maggie has wished for a very long time to visit this site — the old Leaf Bay trading post site is also her place of birth,” said her cousin, Allen Gordon of Kuujjuaq.
Maggie Gordon’s sister Penina suddenly died when she was five years old in 1932 due to injuries she received after slipping on the ice.
“We counted approximately 10 graves total at this small esker. The one with the small rock head stone beside Maggie is believed to be Penina’s grave, the other is an unknown adult. It was very difficult to pinpoint the exact location of site due to [the fact that] many people that knew this area are no longer alive.”
A telephone call to an elder in Tasiujaq and previous accounts passed down from deceased relatives gave the Gordons enough clues to determine where the site might be, which they located thanks to the services of Nunavik Rotors helicopter.