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图克托亚图克:加拿大最后的极地村落

更新时间:2018-5-10 21:10:10 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

Tuktoyaktuk: Canadas last Arctic village?
图克托亚图克:加拿大最后的极地村落

One million antlers were set against the northern sky. Or so it looked from the vantage point of the revving snowmobile as it lurched across the tundra basin. Around 3,000 wild reindeer had bunched together on the horizon, their branched horns seamlessly melding with an endless swathe of skeletal willow and black spruce. We were 60km south of the Arctic Ocean in the remote northern reaches of Canada’s Northwest Territories, and left to Mother Nature it was a spectacle unaffected by man for millennia.

无数鹿角戳向北方的天际,当我们乘坐的雪地摩托车弯弯拐拐疾驰过苔原盆地,看到的便是这般风景。三千头野驯鹿聚集在地平线上,它们枝丫一般的鹿角,和绵延无尽的枯柳、黑云杉融为一片。我们身处北冰洋以南60公里、加拿大西北疆域的极北边地,这片留给大自然母亲的净土,千百年来人类都未曾染指过。

Two bushy foxes bounded across the permafrost, scattering the herd downhill past shoreline lichen onto a frozen lake ahead. The hush of the Arctic winter broken, the herd became a flurry of tawny hides and hooves.

两只毛茸茸的狐狸跃过永冻土,吓得鹿群四处奔逃,飛奔下坡,碾过岸边的苔蘚,跑到了冰冻的湖面上。黄褐色的驯鹿万头攒动,北极冬天的宁静被打破了。

“Listen,” said Inuvialuit (Western Canadian Inuit) guide Noel Cockney softly, as he stopped his Ski-Doo and gestured across the ice. It was -25C and his voice barely pierced his thick protective face mask. “When the reindeer run, it sounds like rain on snow. That’s the sound of the tundra.”

“听,”因纽维阿勒伊特(加拿大西部因纽特人)导游考克尼(Noel Cockney)停下摩托雪橇,指着冰面轻轻地说。这时气温零下25度,他的声音好不容易才从厚厚的保护面罩里透出来。“驯鹿奔跑的时候,听起来好像雨点打落在雪地上。这就是苔原的声音。”

Hidden deep at the top of the country’s largely unexplored Arctic perimeter, Canada’s largest reindeer herd have long lived in solitude. Every spring, the scruffy animals migrate west to their calving grounds on nearby Richards Island to rear their young, but these days they have more to contend with than just wily foxes and wolf packs.

深藏于加拿大几乎尚未开发的北极圈内最北端地区,这个加拿大规模最大的鹿群已在荒野中与世隔绝地生活了千百年。每年春天,这群变得脏兮兮的动物就向西迁徙到理查兹岛附近的产子之地,孕育自己的后代。然而如今,他们不仅要与狡猾的狐狸和狼群斗争。

They now have to deal with the arrival of man.

更要面对人类的到来。

For the last two millennia, the only people who have been able to understand and adapt to this land are the Inuvialuit, the custodians of the north who live in settlements across the Mackenzie Delta, where Canada’s longest river system empties into the Arctic Ocean. Numbering around 5,700, the Inuvialuit have maintained a lifestyle as traditional as it gets in the Americas. In step with the seasons, they are bound to the land, trapping Arctic hare, fox and lynx for meat and fur in the colder months; in summer they harvest beluga whales during sanctioned hunts along the Tuktoyaktuk coast to provide the sustenance they need to get through the long winter.

在过去的两千年里,唯一能理解、适应这片土地的,就是北方的看门人——因纽维阿勒伊特人。他们定居在麦肯齐河三角洲,在那里,加拿大最长的河流汇入了北冰洋。因纽维阿勒伊特族有大概5700位族人,他们的生活方式十分传统,从迁徙到美洲后就没怎么变过。而且他们的生活和季节、土地紧密相关,在严寒时节要捕北极兔、狐狸和猞猁,取其皮肉;夏季便沿着图克托亚图克海岸合法捕猎白鲸,为熬过漫长的冬天储存粮食。

The opening of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway in November 2017 has changed everything for this frozen wilderness. Built at a cost of CAD$300 million and nicknamed the Arctic Ice Road, the 137km-long, two-lane gravel highway is the first all-weather road to Canada’s Arctic Coast, cleaving this isolated tract of tundra in two.

而2017年11月因纽维克-图克托亚图克公路的开通,改变了这片冻土荒原的一切。这条两车道的砾石公路全长137公里,耗资约15亿人民币(18亿港币),人们称之为“北极冰道”。它是加拿大北冰洋沿岸首条全天候公路,把这片与世隔绝的苔原大陆一分为二。

The highway could also be described as the world’s toughest. Taking four years to build – three to create a thick-enough layer of hard-packed gravel to withstand the harsh winters, and one to refine the surface – it’s been designed to tolerate temperatures that can tip below -40C as well as hit 20C on summer nights when the sun never sets.

这条公路也被称为世界上建造最艰难的公路。耗时四年建成,前三年夯实了厚厚一层砾石路基来抵御严冬,第四年铺设路面,其设计既能承受零下40度的低温,也能抵御太阳永不落的摄氏20度夏夜。

And yet even though this is a lifeline for the remote indigenous Inuvialuit community of Tuktoyaktuk (population: 850), the last Arctic village on the edge of mainland Canada’s frozen wilderness, the road is proving divisive. Conceived as a path to oil and gas exploration by former prime minister Stephen Harper’s administration, some see it as a road to resources (despite a temporary moratorium on offshore licences from Justin Trudeau’s government). Others call it a vanity project, bringing this fragile community one step closer to cultural erosion.

偏远的图克托亚图克是加拿大大陆的冰原边缘最后一个北极村庄,有原住民因纽维阿勒伊特人850名。尽管这条公路是其交通命脉,但也带来了一些负面效应。按照前总理史蒂芬·哈珀政府的构想,这条路是为了开采石油天然气而建造。所以有的人将其视为通往资源之路(尽管贾斯丁·杜鲁多的政府临时终止了其境外执照)。也有人称之为“面子工程”,将使得这个本来就很脆弱的族群更易受到外来文化的侵蚀。

But for its ardent supporters, including Tuktoyaktuk local Noel Cockney who spent two years working on the road, the highway marks a rebirth for this ultra-remote community. Opening the outpost year round to visitors for the first time ever, it is an opportunity for progress and possibility. In summer, drivers can now reach otherwise inaccessible lakes and rivers, many of which have never been explored. In winter, there is the visceral thrill of witnessing the reindeer herd and driving to out-of-touch Tuktoyaktuk, whose name means ‘looks like a caribou’ in the local language. And for locals, the new route is a potential honeypot for attracting investment and jobs.

不过对于热心支持者而言,比如两年来都为这条公路而忙碌的图克托亚图克原住民考克尼,这条公路标志着这个极度偏远社区的新生。村落有史以来首次向游客全年开放,这是带来发展进步和无限可能的机会。夏天,驾车而来的人能抵达从前到不了、大多未被探索過的湖泊河流。冬天,可以去看驯鹿群,感受壮丽景色带来的内心震撼,也可以开车到与外界失联的图克托亚图克,在当地方言中这个地名意即“看起来像一只驯鹿”。对原住民而言,这条新路也许会引来投资、带来工作。

Prior to the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, the community’s winter connection to the outside world was a rudimentary and ephemeral ice track that melted every spring.

在因纽维克-图克托亚图克公路造好前,这个族群若想在冬天与外界联系,靠的是一条原始的冰道,使用时间很短,一到春天就消融了。

“Getting to ‘Tuk’ used to be incredibly difficult,” said Cockney, parking his snowmobile at a viewpoint overlooking the new highway. “In winter, our way out vanished into thin air, and in summer it was a choice of two: fly or take a boat along the river.” Now, since the road’s arrival, local carrier Aklak Air has suspended its daily service.

“以前想前往‘图克’非常非常难,”考克尼把摩托雪橇停在一个观景点,远眺新造好的公路,“冬天我们出来的路会消失得无影无踪,夏天想出来倒是有两个选择,要么坐飞机,要么坐船沿河而行。”如今有了这条公路,本地运输公司阿克拉克航空公司已经暂停了日常服务。

Another individual embracing the road’s opportunity is Kylik Kisoun Taylor, a second-generation Inuvialuit who represents the vanguard of the next generation of northerners. A board member of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and owner of Tundra North Tours, an Inuit company based in the village of Inuvik at the southernmost point of the road, Taylor grew up in southern Ontario but felt the call of the north from the moment he returned at age 16.

另一位全心拥抱公路带来的机遇的人,是一位第二代因纽维阿勒伊特人泰勒(KylikKisoun Taylor)。他走在这些北方人下一代的最前沿,是加拿大本土旅游协会的常务理事,以及北苔原旅游公司( Tundra North Tours)的老板,这家因纽特人的公司建在公路最南边的因纽维克村里。泰勒在安大略湖北部地区长大成人,16岁时受到北方故乡的召唤,便回到自己的故土创业。

“Indigenous culture is a resource here and tourism has the power to harness it,” he told me, clad in seal fur, as we pulled out of Inuvik while driving the new road north. “Whether it’s trapping a duck or killing a caribou with a spear – the value of keeping these cultural traditions alive can’t be underestimated. Indigenous communities are forgetting how to use these Arctic skills, but they can be compatible with tourism and the modern world. And I want to educate visitors about this.”

我们沿着新公路一路向北离开因纽维克时,这位穿着海豹皮的仁兄告诉我:“这里的本土文化是一种资源,旅游业有能力把它好好用起来。不论是挖陷阱捕鸭,还是用矛杀死驯鹿,保存这些文化传统的价值不容低估。这里的原住民们已经渐渐忘记这些北极生存技能,但他们可以和旅游业以及现代社会好好相处。我希望让游客知道这些事。”

For all that the highway divides local opinion, to drive it is mesmerising. Far from an arrow-straight highway, it loops and bends, hugging the north’s frozen ponds, the so-called Eskimo Lakes, a system of brackish estuarine basins. At the roadside, the Richardson Mountains and boreal forest fade until they disappear completely, leaving the windshield crowded with nothing but a panorama of bald ice. And there are so many shades of white, the sky takes on a pale-coloured glow.

虽然这条公路在当地带来争议,行驶其上却十分迷人。这条公路绝不是笔直的,而是沿着北方的一個個凍結小湖七弯八拐地向前延伸。这些小湖泊又称为爱斯基摩湖,组成了一大片咸水湖流域。在公路一侧,理查德森山脉和北方针叶林逐渐淡去,最后消失在地平线,从挡风玻璃望出去空无一物,唯有光秃秃的无尽冰原。面前是一片深浅不一的白色,天空透着淡淡的光芒。

“You haven’t seen the Arctic unless you come in winter,” said Taylor as we passed a huge plateau of ice. Up close, wind-blown snow rushed the road, moving gravel like an illusion. “We’re at the edge of the tree line here – this is the limit of where it’s comfortable to live.”

我们开过一片巨大的冰封高地时,泰勒说:“除非冬天来,否则不算看过北极。”近在咫尺,风雪吹刮着公路,看起来路面的砾石都动了起来,十分梦幻。“我们已到林木线的边缘——越过这里人类就没法舒舒服服生活了。”

Past a series of pingos, periglacial landforms made of earth-covered ice that are Canadian national landmarks, Tuktoyaktuk began to make its presence felt. As if divorced from its own country, the village sits segregated on a spit of land jutting out into the Arctic Ocean. There are no sugar maple or spruce, or any trees for that matter – only endless ocean, the cold grey waves frozen and paused.

我们来到冰原边缘,经过一座座覆盖着泥土的冰丘,这叫着冰核丘的奇特地貌是加拿大的国家地标,这时可感觉到图克托亚图克已近在咫尺。这座村庄远离自己的国家,独自坐落在伸向北冰洋的尖端地带。没有糖枫树,没有云杉,反正什么树都没有,只有无边无际的海洋,和冻结了的冷灰色海浪。

Two and a half hours after setting off, we finally parked near a pier entombed in ice. Tuktoyaktuk’s streets were empty from the cold. The husky huts, where sled dog teams bedded down, were shut for the night. No-one was around except at the Tuktu B&B, where I met owner Maureen Pokiak, who discussed the road’s impact with me over dinner. Her husband, James, she apologised, was out on an overnight musk ox hunt.

出发两个半小时后,我们终于停在一个已被冰掩埋的码头附近。因为寒冷异常,图克托亚图克的街上空无一人。晚上,雪橇犬们睡觉的爱斯基摩小屋关了起来。四周不见人迹,只在图克早餐旅店(Tuktu B&B),我们见到了老板娘伯其娅克(Maureen Pokiak)。吃晚饭时她与我谈论了公路的影响,还向我道歉,说她先生詹姆斯(James)通宵外出去猎麝牛了。

“This community is in our blood, so I don’t anticipate too many changes,” she said, while sharpening a traditional ulu knife to prepare a customary indigenous meal – raw beluga whale, or muktuk. “There’s a hardcore element who love the extremes of this environment, and they live and breathe tradition. The road may make life a lot easier for folk in the longer term, but we’ll remain connected to the land – that’s the way it’ll always be.”

“这个族群已深入我们的血液,所以我觉得公路带来的变化不会太大,”她边说边打磨乌卢刀,准备处理当地的传统食材——生的白鲸和鲸鱼皮。“这里有些铁杆顽固者,他们热爱这里极端的气候,他们的一呼一吸、一举一动都十分传统。从长远来看这条路可能会让生活变得更容易,不过我们仍然心系土地,在这里永远会这样生活。”

Only when our truck headed back south to Inuvik in the darkness, the street lights diffusing a glow across the snow, did I start to understand what she meant. As the road crossed a series of humpback hills, the Arctic sun rose to reveal the ever-shifting beauty of the tundra, the epic drama of the landscape lit in an all-encompassing brilliant silver on white. Out in the pre-dawn light, the reindeer herd were moving on, the sound of ‘rain’ on snow a signal that life in the tundra will go on. Just as it has always done.

当我们的卡车在黑夜中一路南行返回因纽维克,路灯在大雪中散发点点光芒,我终于开始明白她说的话。公路越过驼背样的座座山丘,北极的太阳升了起来,一点点照亮苔原上银装素裹的美景,变幻灿烂,如史诗歌剧一般。在拂晓的晨光中,鹿群正在前行,他们的蹄子在雪地上踩出的“雨声”,诉说着苔原上的生命将这样延续下去。从古至今,一如既往。

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