Gift of Trouble
An Inuit tribe is challenged by rugged mountain slopes, generational conflict, hungry polar bears and an early winter storm to meet a supply ship on the lee side of an island.
An Island rises out of the icy waters of the Bering Strait, mountainous and tall. So steep are the slopes that buildings are perched on stilts lest they fall into the sea below. This island is home to a tribe that has endured harsh living for years. As these people await a supply ship, the North Star, and with it the arrival of supplies for winter, the island is set upon by an unprecedented winter storm bringing ice and making their harbour into a dangerous port.
This story is set in the 1950’s at the intersection of two worlds. The island is home to a people that rely upon their ancestral knowledge, as well as winter supplies from the mainland, to survive. These supplies include food, fuel, tools, and some sparse comforts as well as a priest who has come to lead their Christmas celebrations and to keep them company through the long winter ahead. The second mate of the North Star is the sea faring father to a young girl and her teenage brother. Tragedy during childbirth has led to these children growing up in the care of their grandmother, an elder in the community.
Faced with the reality of a long, austere winter living off the land and sea in a desolate place, the tribe agrees to an audacious plan to haul the village Oomiak, a boat so big it must be carried by 12 souls, over the summit to the sheltered water on the lee side of the island.
The entire village embarks upon this treacherous journey. On the way tensions rise around the dangerous physicality of the effort and the growing prospect of an encounter with a hungry polar bear. As the fear of failure becomes great a tribe must unite around hope and a family around forgiveness if they are to reach the water before ice forces the North Star to sail away.
The Gift of Trouble is unwrapped in this story. It is inspired by heroic true events and warms the heart. It is about how courage, intuition, and unity in the moment overcomes the impossible, and where acts borne from open-minded desperation lead to fellowship through adversity and bring nights of comfort when darkness sets in. A truer tale for this age is hard to be found.