Prairie Perspectives, Grey Owl, geographers, Toronto, Simpson-Housley, the Wild, Archie Belaney, North, Perspectives, sense of place, pine trees, northern regions, Canada, Norcliffe, Ottawa REES, Penguin Books, Geographical Review, Dundurn Press, RAFFAN, Place and Placelessness, SHAKESPEARE, Paul Simpson-Housley, York University, cultural geography, emotional connection, northern region, PERKINS, Annual Conference, St. Martin's Press, Alexander Selkirk, ibid., London, Croom Helm, Daniel Defoe, Lovat Dickson, John Hopkins University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Belhaven Press, Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrims, Mark Twain, Carleton University, Canadian Association of Geographers, Drawing conclusions, Prairie, northern Saskatchewan, nature writing, Plumstead, University of Alberta Press
Sense of place: the case of Canada's provincial norths Paul Simpson-Housley, York University Allison M. Williams, University of Saskatchewan
Abstract: Meaning, value and experience are found in those environments that have a strong sense of place. Sense of place defines the identity, significance, meaning, intention, and felt value that are given to places by individuals (Pred 1983) as a result of experiencing it over time (Relph 1976; Tuan 1977). By making use of literary narratives, geographers are able to provide a more nuanced view of human-environment relationships, such as sense of place. The sense of place experienced by Grey Owl (Archie Belaney), who lived throughout Canada's provincial norths, is explored in this paper through his writings. Grey Owl's writing provides a better understanding of the spiritual, physical and emotional connection that individuals have to northern regions. Keywords: cultural geography, sense of place, Canada's provincial norths, Grey Owl Canada's northern region, divided as it is among both provincial and territorial jurisdictions, is often perceived as a marginalized space (Jordan 1994). It operates first and foremost as a recognizable parcel of geography, but has multiple meanings, as discussed by Riegel et al. (1997, ix) in their collection of essays on regionalism, entitled Sense of Place: For most North Americans, identity is a complex mix of a feeling of community, a shared cultural, ethnic and social background, and an attachment to place a mix that is much more localized than the feeling of being Canadian or being American.
In keeping with the idea of attachment as a localized phenomenon, Bone (1992, 3) discusses regional consciousness as "an appreciation of local natural features, cultural traits, and economic issues.... the basis of commonality which provides a distinctive regional `personality'". This regional consciousness is often best expressed in literature and is evident in numerous collections found throughout the social sciences and humanities (Riegel et al. 1997; Jordon, 1994; Simpson-Housley and Norcliffe 1992). This paper examines the literary work of Grey Owl to explore the representation of Canada's northern regions, and the particular sense of place he experienced while residing in Canada's provincial norths. A humanistic emphasis on the subjective perceptions of the regional landscape, and specifically the sense of place experienced from the author/ novelist's point of view will operate as the main thrust of the paper. To best frame the paper, sense of place is first discussed, followed by a brief description of Canada's northern regions. A short biography of Grey Owl precedes an examination of his experience of Canada's north as illustrated in his autobiography, Pilgrims of the Wild (Grey Owl 1935a). Sense of Place Sense of place has two meanings within the field of geography. It is sometimes understood as a characteristic of a place that is memorable or distinctive, having a high `imageability' (Lynch 1960, 1972). Symbolic or sacred locations such as Mecca and Stonehenge have this strong sense of place since they have significant meaning for large numbers of people. More commonly, sense of place is viewed as "the consciousness that people themselves have of places that possess a particular significance for them, either personal or shared" (Gregory 1991, 425). It is a clear example of the link between place, the individual and society, as it encompasses both the connection with the physical landscape and those who share that physical space. Geographers have described sense of place as operating within three intertwining dimensions: ...the perceptual realm of awareness, attitudes and memories; the emotional realm of feelings preferences, and values; and the experiential realm of bodily and sensory contacts, insider/ outsider, and journeys... It is an individually based, but group informed, localized, personal means of relating to the world, transforming mere space into personal space (Hay 1988, 160).
Many geographers, including Tuan (1974), Buttimer (1976, 1980, 1993), Relph (1976), Porteous (1990), Seamon (1979), and Hay (1988) have researched life-worlds and place, describing insider/outsider divisions, networks of concern, sacred space, home, homeland, habit fields, and a variety of other similarly abstract place-related phenomena (Raffan 1993). Home is a good example of a conscious placefulnesss, as a strong sense of being `in place' is felt; it exemplifies the "internal knowledge knowledge of emotion, knowledge of the heart that comprises sense of place" (Raffan 1993, 4). Home place also establishes a source of reference from which judgments may be made. Tuan (1974, 3) describes this as: ...security...: we are attached to [it]... There is no place like home. What is home? It is the old homestead, the old neighbourhood, hometown, or motherland. Love of place, or topophilia "can develop at a grand scale as national identity and even as imperial patriotism, but it can also become manifest at a much more local scale as attachment to neighbourhood or home town" (Simpson-Housley and Norcliffe 1992, 5); this is evident in the local patriotism voiced by Shakespeare (1964) in the play, Richard II: This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or a moat defensive to a house Against the envy of less happier lands, This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England ... (Act 2, Scene 1) Places with a personal history, where significant biographical events have occurred, also have a strong sense of place. Humanistic geographers have referred to this fusing of location and human life into centres of human meaning (Gregory 1991, 425) as a personal connection with place, built-up over years of residence and involvement in the community (Hay 1988). This connection is also made through historical association, as suggested by Lucas (1960, 176): The first time I saw the cloud-topped mountain ridges of Acroceraunia from the Adriatic, or the Leucadian Promontory white with sun and storm, or Hymettus, purpled with the
sunset, from the Saronic Sea, was something intenser even than poetry. But the same shapes and colours would not have seemed the same in New Zealand or the Rockies. Half their transfigured splendour came from the poetry of two thousand years before, or the memory of that other sunset on Hymettus when the hemlock was brought to Socrates.
Getting at these meanings has proven to be a challenge for social scientists. Owing to the difficulty of transforming the concept of sense of place into defined concepts subject to verifiable study (Davies and Herbert 1993), social scientists have sought out literary and visual art forms that express this sense of belonging to place. Within geography, it has given rise to the examination of place sensibility and evocation by writers, painters and poets, as they have been particularly skilled in providing perceptive descriptions of places by defining their distinctive, idiosyncratic character. This is summarized by Porteous (1990, 201) in his book entitled Landscapes of the Mind: Worlds of Sense and Metaphor: It is my contention that literary and artistic expression, whether ours or that of others, is essential in helping us to experience the world around us in a richer more authentic way. Geographers have most commonly used various forms of literature to interpret and understand landscapes (Pocock 1981; Mallory and Simpson-Housley 1987; Simpson-Housley and Norcliffe 1992). By making use of literary narratives, geographers are able to provide a more nuanced view of human-environment relationships, such as the territorial bases of human subjectivity the sense of place (Lando 1996). Fewer geographers have extended the boundaries of landscape interpretation through the sole use of visual art (Carter-Park and Simpson-Housley 1994; Simpson-Housley and Norcliffe 1992; Cosgrove and Daniels 1988; Prince 1984; Rees 1982). The use of visual art is in keeping with Ruskin, who understands artists' quest to endlessly pursue knowledge about relations between phenomena, in an attempt to understand their meaning, their purpose, or in Ruskinian terms, their moral connections (Cosgrove 1979; Cosgrove and Thornes 1981).
Canada's Norths A culture which is the expression of a specific community is in contrast to a mass culture
which ends towards uniformity rather than unity, and towards the obliterating of the specific and distinctive...every part of Canada is shut off by its geography. Everywhere...we find solitudes touching solitudes: every part of Canada has strong separatist feelings, because every part of it is in fact a separation (Frye 1977, 7).
Canada's provincial norths are, owing to their geography, `solitudes touching solitudes'. They are not only distinct from one another but, as a group, are distinct from the southern regions upon which they, for the most part, depend. They are described as long-ignored, politically weak and economically unstable, and are characterized as containing many of the country's poorest and most disadvantaged citizens. They hold much of Canada's resource wealth, and hence good portions of its economic future (Coates and Morrsion 1992), but are highly susceptible to the rises and falls of international demand. Cold, ice and snow permeate depictions of Canada's north by poets, novelists, and artists. Canada yields its wealth only reluctantly, and manifold difficulties and hazards are encountered in harnessing resources. Indeed, stubbornness is a prerequisite to survive Canada's elemental fury. There are, however, pieces of hidden beauty among the hostile elements and the opposing forces, giving scope to artists (Simpson-Housley and Norcliffe 1992). Patrick Anderson's poem touches upon Canada's image as a cold, hard and unforgiving land: ...And the North was. With winter the snow came. Whole folios of it. Yet nothing written except one thing, a bleak expectancy the possible with its strenuous shade of whiteness where an intuition almost without equipment could trek into the faint wind of the future... What are you...? they ask, in wonder. And she replies in the worst silence of all her woods: I am Candida with the cane wind. What are you...? they ask.
And she replies: I am the wind that wants a flag. I am the mirror of your picture until you make me the marvel of your life. Yes, I am one and none, pin and pine, snow and slow, America's attic, an empty room, a something possible, a chance, a dance that is not danced. A cold kingdom (Anderson 1946, 35, 42, 43). Many of Canada's provincial norths are Precambrian, containing bare rocks, great forests, and numerous lakes, all of which provide much to attract writers and artists, such as Canada's beloved Group of Seven. It is a land apart from the remainder of the country, with many isolated regions having hinterland status. Given that Grey Owl spent most of his time in northern Ontario, this province will be examined in most detail herein. The culture of the vast landscape called northern Ontario, which comprises approximately ten percent of the population while making up approximately eighty-six percent of the province's total area (Beggs 1991), is distinct from that of the south. As suggested by Frye above, this has engendered separatist feelings; within northern Ontario there has been sporadic talk of secession since as early as 1891, and in 1906 a petition requesting the establishment of a new province of Algoma was forwarded to the Laurier government (Coates and Morrison 1992). These and other movements have been based on dissatisfaction with the alleged mistreatment of the north and its people by the provincial government, which is understood by northerners as representing the needs of the populated south. Residents of Sudbury proposed a new province of Huronia in the early 1900s and, in the post-World War II years, a city councilor agitated for the province of Aurora. The most sustained campaign for a new province was headed by a motel owner and civic booster from North Bay, who in 1977 registered his Northern Ontario Heritage Party as an official party within the province (Coates and Morrison 1992). Many southerners are perplexed as to what keeps people wanting to continue to live in the north; in addition to the obvious reasons of work and family, many people maintain their home in the north because of feeling a strong `sense of place.' Like all provincial norths, northern Ontario is made up of a series of somewhat isolated places that have little contact with each other; as a consequence, cultures are locally defined. In his novel Loon Plumstead (1992, 76) explores this isolation in the following passage:
To be isolated by geography and race on an island Indian reserve with twenty-seven students to teach in grades one through eight, at the bottom of the pay scale (if you were new at it), with little to do when winter darkness was ink black soon after the school day ended, and transportation to the mainland (which was miles from anywhere when you did get there) was a matter of begging and luck such considerations did not add up to an enticing prospect for young graduates of teachers' college. Due to the isolation experienced, many northern places have become strong communities where residents have come to develop a strong attachment that goes beyond mere economics. As a result, many struggle to keep their communities alive in the face of inexorable pressures to shut them down (Coates and Morrison 1992). This is in keeping with one of Bone's (1992, 2-3) two suggested visions of the North: Canadians hold a number of visions of the North. Two dominate current thinking: the northern frontier, and the northern homeland... The northern frontier image is of a place where people are pitted against a harsh environment that contains great wealth.... Northerners, particularly Native northerners, hold a homeland image of the North ... By living, working, and playing in a northern environment, they have developed a deep and lasting attachment to their surroundings. Strongly related to this attachment is the sense of place that many of those living in these northern communities feel. The spirit of the land is a strong contributor to this attachment for many, as illustrated by the pantheism assumed by some native writers. Tomson Highway reveals this in the following passage from his play Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing: I have my arms around this rock, this large black rock sticking out of the ground, right here on this spot. And then I hear this baby crying, from inside this rock. The baby is crying out my name. As if I am responsible for it being caught inside that rock (Highway 1989, 44).
Plumstead also refers to this concept in his novel, Loon: Protect the land and her spirits. Never let Shagunash take it away. He may borrow pieces of it but it must never be traded away. The gods are in the land as well as the sky. You know that (Plumstead 1992, 10). Nature, wilderness and the natural landscape make up a large component of northerner's sense of place. The remainder of this paper explores the northerner's sense of place through an examination of Grey Owl's autobiography, Pilgrims of the Wild (Grey Owl 1935a). This is preceded by a brief description of Grey Owl, his life and his writing. The Life of Grey Owl Born in 1888, Grey Owl (Archie Belaney) upheld the myth that he had Scottish and Indian parents. He spent time in England but returned to Canada to participate in the 1905 Cobalt (Ontario) silver rush. He then spent his life as a trapper, canoe man and packer. The Ojibway Indians adopted him and bestowed on him the name Grey Owl because he adored nocturnal travel. They taught him their language and their forest lore, and from them he derived his love of Canada's provincial norths. As Eayrs observed if the foreword to the Pilgrims of the Wild "A canoe is to Grey Owl what a horse is to a cow-puncher or a good vessel to a sailor" (Grey Owl 1935a, ix). He was a guide and explorer of the north country. In winter he trapped but was also an Ontario Government forest ranger for some summers. His greatest contribution is, however, to conservation. After falling in love with Anahareo, an Iroquois girl, Grey Owl moved to northern Quйbec. Together, they gave up the trap lines to work towards the protection of animals and the conservation of the land they both loved. Here he began his writing career, which continued in their adopted home in Saskatchewan's Prince Albert National Park
, where Grey Owl worked as a park ranger. The wilderness was his world. He died in 1938. In addition to his autobiography, Pilgrims of the Wild, Grey Owl wrote a number of other books (many of them children's), including The Men of the Last Frontier, The Adventures of Sajo, Tales of an Empty Cabin and (Grey Owl 1931, 1935b, 1936). Plumstead (1997) laments the fact that the Canadian academic community has largely ignored Grey Owl. Criticisms of him are legion and include the facts that he wrote for children and popular audiences,
that he did not fit into established genres, that he was a bigamist, and that he lied in his books (Plumstead 1997). Thus, many academics distrust him. Plumstead, however, advocates a different perspective, where Archie Belaney's Pilgrims of the Wild operates as a work of fiction wherein he tells the truth of art a different form of truth. Similar accusations could be made at Daniel Defoe (1719) in his rendition of Robinson Crusoe, where many details are fabricated. For example, Defoe's rendition did not follow Alexander Selkirk's stay on Juan Fernandez Island accurately. Rather than being located west of Chile, Crusoe was on an island that seems to have been in the Caribbean. Defoe was also denied the status of an Augustan author since his book was deemed popular and lacking sophistication, criticisms also attributed to Grey Owl. One would surely not dismiss Defoe. Robinson Crusoe is widely acclaimed as a prototype of the English novel. Similarly, one could defend Pilgrims of the Wild if it is viewed as a work of literature rather than pure autobiography. It has been dramatized, fictionalized and heightened for effect. Even Mark Twain
admitted there were some things he stretched. There are things in common with Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (Plumstead 1997). Both are books where the hero is depicted as groping for hope and love in a world that is full of despair and death. Both are fallen worlds. In Pilgrims of the Wild, the beavers as surrogate children help redeem this lost world and help metamorphose Archie Belaney, the trapper, into Grey Owl the conservationist. If we take off our masks we can see Pilgrims of the Wild as a creative work of fiction and nature writing. It is a classic text that sits on many Canadian bookshelves. Grey Owl's Sense of Place Although much of what Grey Owl wrote took place in the boreal forest
of Prince Albert National Park, northern Saskatchewan, it is difficult to determine which `provincial north' he alludes to in his work. Having spent time in Manitoba, Quйbec, the Maritimes, Saskatchewan, and for the most part, Ontario, his recollections of the past are placed throughout much of the Canada's vast northern region. In Pilgrims of the Wild, Grey Owl describes the strong sense of place he now has in his adopted land of the early 20th century Canada: The feel of a canoe gunnell at the thigh, the splash of flying spray in the face, the rhythm of the snowshoe trail, the beckoning of far-off hills and valleys, the majesty of the
tempest, the calm and silent presence of the trees that seem to muse and ponder in their silence; the trust and confidence of small living creatures, the company of simple men; these have been my inspiration and my guide. Without them I am nothing (Grey Owl 1935a, xvi) This strong sense of place results from the many years Grey Owl lived in the North, together with the many intense experiences he had while living there. The two main themes that make up his strong sense of place, as depicted in Pilgrims of the Wild, are: the relationship with the wilderness and the wildlife which resided there (specifically the beaver), and the associational practice of animism. Although once a trapper, Grey Owl had a close affinity with the wilderness, and specifically the wildlife found in the northern environments he frequented. Even though the relationship he had with nature can be defined as psychological, there is also a strong spiritual and social component that is evident: I had long ago invested the creatures of the forest with a personality. This was the inevitable result of a life spent wandering over the vast reaches of a still, silent land in which they were the only form of animate life, and sprang from early training and folklore (ibid., 24). Once a strong supporter of Wildlife conservation
, he wrote about the need for balance in his beloved wilderness, particularly when it came to the species he most loved, the beaver: These beasts [beaver] had feelings and could express them very well; they could talk, they had affection, they knew what it was to be happy, to be lonely why, they were little people! And they must be all like that. All this tallied with the incredible stories I had heard in younger days, and perhaps accounted for the veneration that our people, when savage, had held them in, calling them `Beaver People,' `Little Indians' and `Talking Bothers' (ibid., 42-43). Beaver stood for something vital, something essential in this wilderness, were a component part of it; they were the wilderness. With them gone it would be empty; without them it would be not a wilderness but a waste (ibid., 48).
Anahareo was very proud of having all these creatures around the house, and they somehow gave the place a lively appearance, and made us feel that we had been accepted as friends and fellow citizens
by this company of furred and feathered folk (ibid., 133). His growing affinity for the preservation of animals brought about a different view of them: And now I no longer wished to kill. I had beaten and abused the North that now I found I loved, and could I but live without this slaughter, this unnecessary brutalizing cruelty, I would be forever glad (ibid., 140). Some may agree that the distinctive gift of Belaney was to see the life qualities inherent in every place he inhabited, but his writing shows a clear northern bias. It was when Grey Owl was away from the north country that he missed it most. Similar to his close travel companions, urban places, whether towns, villages or cities, were understood as places to frequent only if one had to for supplies, services, financial opportunities, or the odd evening of entertainment. When away from the north, whether on business or pleasure, Grey Owl and his closest companions found themselves wishing for it: ...we all began to pine for our North country, and most of our conversations drifted around to reminiscences of it and the making of plans to get back there (ibid., 172). ...free to return to our harsh, untamed, beloved North with its romance, its wild freedom and its gold; free at last to leave this sad disfigured country with its tortured ravaged forests and its memories and grief and tribulation (ibid., 178). A temporal separation from his beloved north country is also evident in his writing, as he recalls the experiences of days past: ...and somehow the writing of that manuscript had partially appeased the feeling of loneliness and home-sickness that had overcome me whenever I saw, smelled or heard anything that brought quick stabbing memories of the trails of yesterday. For now the North was not so far away. It was I my hand, ready at my call to leap into action... as I lived over again the joys and the triumphs, the struggles and the hardships that had made life so worth living, while my soul slipped back to
wander once more, at will, in a land of wild romantic beauty and adventure that would soon, by all the sings, be gone beyond recall... A feeling of kinship for all the wild that had been growing on me for years, at this time seemed to have reached its culmination (ibid., 139). His love for the wilderness of northern Ontario was particularly strong, due to his many formative years spent there. This is evident in the following description, written while residing in the northern region of Saskatchewan. In keeping with a holistic understanding of the multi-sensory concept of sense of place, the following description includes experiences that proved to satisfy many of his senses sight, smell and hearing, among others: And ever my mind turned back to Mississauga, roaring between its looming maple-crested mountains the wild Forty Mile rapids, the swift rush of the Three Mile, the flashing mane of the White Horse, the Cheneaux with its toll of human lives, the heavy thunderous roar of Aubrey Falls over its redstone cliffs, the Gros Cap with its sheer towering walls of granite and gnarled distorted jack-pines jutting out from precarious ledges, the dark, cavernous pine forests, the smell of drying leaves of birch and ash and poplar, the rhythmic, muffled thud of paddles on hardwood gunnels, blue smoke trailing up from the embers of slow fires, quiet, observant Indians camped beneath the red pines, beside its racing flood (ibid., 210). The rock-bound Mississauga roars on between its palisades of pine trees. The Elephant Mountain still stand sat the portals of Touladi. Somewhere in the wild Laurentian uplands are little mountain lakes on whose shores the ashes of my campfires still remain. Some day I hope to see them all again (ibid., 280). Once again I must hear the Mississauga Dance and tread a measure to the drum of Mato-gense, called Little Child, the Conjuror. For the call of the River comes often upon me, in the evenings, at dawn and when I am alone... All these things will I do in the fullness of time, but it cannot be for very long... My duty lies beneath these Western skies (ibid., 280). The spiritual union that Grey Owl experienced with his beloved Northland is evident in his practice of animism wherein inanimate objects
are made animate. This is evident in the way he described trees, streams and, of course, beavers. The trees were understood to not only have a mind, but a memory: And the aged trees whose great drooping crowns loomed high above our heads, standing omniscient in the wisdom of the ages, seemed to brood and to whisper, and look down upon our useless vigil, in a mighty and compassionate comprehension... For they were of the Wild as we were, the Wild to which in our desolation we turned for a solace and a refuge, that ageless Wilderness that had ever been and would, somewhere, always be... (ibid., 162-163). ...the great pines still stood towering, mighty in their silence; and standing there immovable in their impenetrable reticence, they seemed to meditate, and brood upon the past (ibid., 201). ...followed the old disused lumber roads... There was never anything but an old deserted camp surrounded by stumps and stark dead trees, ghosts of a forest that was gone. There were small blocks of timber, and here and there a lone pine tree, diseased perhaps and spared on that account. I always made my dinner fire near one of these and tried to feel at home. But it was beyond my imagination; they were destined for the axe in any case and I could only pity them. And on leaving I would look back a dozen times at the moving smoke of my lunch fire, as though it were something there that was alive and kept the old tree company when I was gone. All Northern people loved the pine trees, perhaps because those of us of any age at all, had lived the forepart of our lives amongst them (ibid., 249). The streams were found to have the ability to make music, and thereby hear: ...it mutters in the sound of sleepy streams, and murmurs in the rumour of the river, in the endless tolling of the waves upon a lake-shore each and everyone a note from the composite of Nature's harmony, chords struck at random from that mighty Symphony of the Infinite that echoes forever on, down the resounding halls of Time (ibid., 164).
In Grey Owl's eyes, the beaver seemed to represent the inherent spirit of the wilderness, most likely due to the time and energy invested in the intimate relationship he had nurtured with them: And here it was borne upon me why they had so much impressed themselves upon us, these little beasts [beavers]. They had been like little Indians in their ways, and had seemed emblematic of the race, a living link with our environment, a living breathing manifestation of that elusive Something, that spirit of the Waste Lands that so permeated our own lives, that had existed always just in its entirety. In some tangible way they and their kind typified the principle that is inherent in all Nature. The animal supreme of all the forest, they were the Wilderness personified, the Wild articulate, the Wild that was our home, and still lived embodied in the warp and woof of it... I had lived with nature all my life, yet had never felt so close to it before, as I better understood the Spirit that had fashioned it nor yet so far a part from it, in the sudden knowledge of my own unfitness to interpret or describe it (ibid., 203). Not a man of deep religious faith, the presence of the spiritual was understood as residing in nature: He, who to us was not the awful unapproachable Presence of more than one of their theologies, but was the Unseen Musician whose melodies whispered in the singing of the pine trees, or resounded in the mighty symphony of the tempest; Whose purpose was made manifest in the falling of the leaves and in their budding, and in the ceaseless running of the waters, and in the rising and the setting of the sun Who could point a lesson in the actions of a lowly animal (ibid., 258). Another sign of his belief in animism was the solemn rituals that Grey Owl upheld after killing animals on the hunt. Many of these rituals were adopted from the Native Peoples who he came to know well: No bear was killed without some portion of the carcass, generally the skull or shoulder bones, being hung up in a prominent place somewhere in his former range... All these ceremonies are practised by semi-civilized, and even more advanced Indians over a wide area; and should anyone be
tactless enough to enquire the reason why they do these things, the answer if any, will be: `Ozaam tapskoche anicianabй, mahween because they are so much like Indians' (ibid., 25). There is no question that Grey Owl was at home in Canada's provincial Norths. His heart and soul were strongly attached to the wilderness, with which he related beyond the mere physical in social, spiritual, and psychological ways. Conclusions Although the deep human connections that are characteristic of people's functional relationships to places remain very much uncharted in geographical research, literature is a medium which provides an interpretation of the world of emotions and people's relationship with place. It is by further examining the felt sense of place experienced by authors such as Grey Owl, who lived throughout Canada's provincial norths, that a better understanding of how sense of place can inform the behaviour of those who continue to reside there. References Anderson
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