International Context Northern Postal Service and Bush Flights

The development of aviation made people aware of the possibilities that this new means of transportation offered. It allowed faster and more efficient access to remote areas that could only be reached by canoe in the summer and dogsled in the winter.

Following an interruption of the service in winter, a letter sent to the Postmaster General emphasizes the importance of mail to those living in distant territories. Father Saindon of Moosonee, James Bay, writes: "My missionaries are quite isolated. The mail brought great comfort to them especially with Christmas and New Year drawing near. I am tortured by the thought that this year they will have to be deprived of such an important part of their lives. Most of them will not receive a letter before the first week of July."

The impact the introduction of aerial mail had on the remote regions during winter time is incalculable. Everything was transported by plane. A Canadian Airways pilot flying in northern Saskatchewan listed in his flight log the freight he was carrying: "a load of mail and several cases of rotgut"; "mail, special delivery merchandise and tonic"; "mail and several cases of cheap bootleg booze"; "mail and alcohol"; "mail and caribou [French-Canadian wine mixed with alcohol]." His notes show the importance of the aerial postal service to those without any other means of communication.

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The Beginnings
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