Day 10 - Adopting Traditional Inuit Clothing

Keeping warm was incredibly important for the crew of the St. Roch when they were in the Arctic, and so they began to wear traditional Inuit clothing in order to brave the freezing temperatures. In an extract from Arctic Workhorse: The RCMP Schooner St. Roch, James P. Delgado describes the type of clothes that were worn.

"The RCMP adopted Inuit clothing for patrols. Traditional parkas and pants were fashioned from hides of caribou, usually by Inuit who traded or sold them to the RCMP. Two suits of clothes were worn: the outer suit with the hair facing out, made from caribou killed in the winter when the hair was long and warm, and an inner suit with the hair facing in, against the body. The inner suits were fashioned from the hides of animals killed in the summer, when the hair was short and light. While warm, the suits had drawbacks; the inner layer tickled and the outer layer shed hair, usually into the frying pan or tea pail."

You can see a traditional parka on display at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, why not come and see it today!

Quote: Arctic Workhorse: The RCMP Schooner St. Roch, James P. Delgado, 2003, p22

(1) VMM. Leonard McCann Archives. St. Roch Photograph Collection. "Inuit women" Item number HIOG-100-03. Pirie Collection.

(2) VMM. Leonard McCann Archives. St. Roch Photograph Collection. "Chartrand in Arctic b C55 c AP56" Item number HCRO-40-04.