Where does “Waters Like the Sky” take place?

Where does “Waters Like the Sky” take place? (Kris) “Waters Like the Sky” starts in a small village near Quebec, Canada, not far from Montréal. Find the St. Laurence River on the right side of map, and Montréal is where the river divides. The canoe brigade travels westward on the Ottawa River and others in order to bypass the big waters of Lakes Ontario and Erie. That route brings them into the Georgian Bay on the north shore of Lake Huron. They stop at Michilimackinac, at the falls (or “sault”) on the Ste. Marie River, between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The brigade follows the northern shore of Lake Superior until they reach Grand Portage (in today’s Minnesota), the site of the rendezvous. After the rendezvous, the pork-eaters return to Montréal; many winterers cross the almost-nine-mile Grand Portage and head into the far north. André and his canoemates continue to the western-most point of Lake Superior where they begin paddling on the St. Louis River. This river leads them over the Savannah portage to the “Father of Waters” (the Mississippi). It’s fun to compare the old map (about from the 1780s) to the satellite image taken in 2000. Considering the technology they had available, their map making skills were amazing....
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What were voyageurs paid in the early 1800s?

What were voyageurs paid in the early 1800s? Were there different skills that voyageurs needed?  (Rachel, age 15) Good question. They received trousers and a shirt or two, a blanket, tobacco and food while working. And money — 400 livres (I’ll find out how much that is), one-third in advance and the remainder upon return to Montreal. Two skilled canoemen were paid more. Because they were responsible for steering the canoe — the avant in front, the gouvernail in back — they earned double or more what others were paid. If an avant or gouvernail wintered enough times, and knew where and how long portages were and how to communicate in various Native American languages, he might become a guide of a brigade of canoes or an interpreter. That was as high in their career as they could rise. They could earn between two and four times as much as a basic canoeman, perhaps as much as a clerk. There were also two levels of voyageurs — pork eaters (mangeurs de lard) and winterers (hivernants). Winterers earned more than pork eaters. Pork eaters, who perhaps had fewer skills and were younger (but also could be long-time canoemen), would travel from Montreal to Grand Portage and back in the same season. They got paid less — food, clothing, a blanket, tobacco and money. The name “pork eaters” was a term of ridicule (bullying another way) — pork eaters could eat their “comfort food” (like salt pork) all winter at home, whereas winterers would have to rely on hunting, fishing or trading for food, and occasionally starved when they couldn’t find food. If they became winterers, they were issued special supplies for trading or personal use — a hat, winter coat, another pair of trousers, 20 pounds each of biscuit and pork, 15 pounds of white sugar, one gallon of rum. They were also allowed a credit at their fur trading post in order to trade with Native Americans for food and other things (including small canoes, snowshoes, dogs and dogsleds). Clerks at the interior fur trading posts served an apprenticeship of five to seven years. They were paid about $150 a year, partly for their writing and mathematics skills. They kept daily records of the trading and were responsible for building the post and managing it. So André is in a special category. He doesn’t have skills as a paddler,...
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