Remembering Sammy Alainga


Sammy Alainga has died at the age of 65.

This amazing man was born and raised on the land and became a good hunter at an early age.

During the 1960s, while on a hunting trip by boat, he was accidentally shot in the head with a high-powered rifle. He was rushed to the Montreal Neurological Institute where substantial life-saving surgery was performed. The surgeons gave Sammy very little hope of survival, and no chance of ever walking again.

Soon after waking from surgery, Sammy was found on the floor of his room. No one knew how he had managed to get over the safety rail surrounding his bed, but there he was, on the floor, fighting to get to his feet.

Within weeks, he was back here in town, having thrown away his crutches, walking with a stick, totally paralyzed on one side, but still able to walk by swinging his leg and arm in a forward movement, he managed to get around.

He later acquired a tiny dog, which went with him everywhere. Sadly, during one of Sammy’s hunting trips in his boat, the poor dog leaped over the side, in total fright, as the guns fired at a seal. The dog was never found and Sammy was devastated.

During another hunting trip in the late 1960s, I was with Sammy and filmed while he spotted a polar bear in the water, near the end of Frobisher Bay at Lok’s Land. With careful aim, using a good left eye and his right arm and a very strange grip on his gun, he hit the bear in the ear.

He was a very special man who proved to all who knew him that with determination we can overcome just about any hardship thrown at us.

Bryan Pearson

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