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February 2017

"64 Degrees Below Zero": Arctic Evangelism in British Columbia

Above : Song lyrics penned by Rolland Smith. Smith wrote several songs about the missionary work in Canada which were included Moberly Lake Indian Mission's newsletters to supporters back in the United States.

This month the Archives highlights the ministry of Rolland and Thelma Smith, missionaries to the Cree First Nation in British Columbia, Canada from 1946 to 1957. Natives of Ohio, the Smiths describe their first winter at Moberly Lake Indian Mission in the newsletter below: “People talk about the wet cold of the east and the dry cold of the west. . . . However, there is no such thing as “warm” cold. Cold is cold, and that's that! ”

Left : Family photo from a promotional pamphlet describing the Smith's ministry in Canada.

Right : As part of promotional literature highlighting the work of the Moberly Indian Mission, Rolland Smith often wrote brief anecdotes with hand-drawn illustrations to include his monthly newsletter. These sketches of life at Moberly Lake describe the challenges of missionary life, progress of the mission, and the spiritual and material needs of the local First Nation people. Rolland Smith also occasionally reprinted excerpts from published authors to highlight aspects of Canadian and First Nation culture and religion for the mission's supporters back home. Excerpted from North Again for Gold by Edgar Laytha (1939), the pamphlet on the right describes artic sled dog racing, the threat of tuberculosis and other diseases facing First Nation people, the disappearance of caribou herds, and the changes in First Nations winter migratory patterns.




Below : Febuary 1947 issue of the Smith's newsletter, The North Star , featuring Rolland Smith's drawings.

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Last Revised: 01/30/17
Expiration: indefinite

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