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Coppermine expedition

The Coppermine expedition was a British overland undertaking to survey and chart the area from Hudson Bay to the north coast of Canada, eastwards from the mouth of the Coppermine River. The expedition was organised by the Royal Navy as part of its attempt to discover and map the Northwest Passage, it was the first of three Arctic expeditions to be led by John Franklin and included George Back and John Richardson, both of whom would become notable Arctic explorers in their own right. The expedition was plagued by poor planning, bad luck and unreliable allies; the expected assistance from the local fur trading companies and native peoples was less forthcoming than expected, the dysfunctional supply line, coupled with unusually harsh weather and the resulting absence of game, meant the explorers were never far from starvation. The Arctic coast was reached, but 500 miles had been explored before the exhaustion of the party's supplies and the onset of winter forced them to turn back. What followed was a desperate retreat across uncharted territory in a state of starvation with nothing more than lichen to eat.

The survivors were rescued by members of the Yellowknives Nation, who had given them up for dead. In the aftermath, Franklin was much criticised by local fur traders for his haphazard planning and failure to adapt. Back in Britain he was received as a hero and fêted for the courage he had shown in extreme adversity; the expedition captured the public imagination, in reference to a desperate measure he took while starving, he became known as "the man who ate his boots". In the years following the Napoleonic Wars, the British Navy, under the influence of Sir John Barrow, turned its attention to the discovery of the Northwest Passage, a putative sea route around the north coast of Canada which would allow European ships easy access to the markets of the Orient. Evidence for the existence of a passage came from the fact that whalers in the Bering Strait had killed whales which carried tusks of the type used in Greenland and vice versa, but the maze of islands to the north of Canada was completely unmapped.

By 1819 the northern coast of Canada had been glimpsed only twice by Europeans. In 1771 Samuel Hearne had followed the Coppermine River to the sea at a point around 1,500 miles east of the Bering Strait, he was followed in 1789 by Alexander Mackenzie, who traced what is now the Mackenzie River to open sea 500 miles west of the mouth of the Coppermine. In 1818, Barrow had sent his first expedition to seek the Northwest Passage. Led by John Ross, it ended ignominiously when Ross entered the Lancaster Sound, the true entrance to the Northwest Passage, but judging it to be a bay turned around and returned to Britain. At the same time, David Buchan made an attempt to sail directly to the North Pole from Britain, but returned only with the news that the pack ice north of Spitsbergen was a barrier which could not be breached; the following year, Barrow planned two further expeditions to the Arctic. A seaborne expedition under William Edward Parry would follow on from Ross' work, seeking an entrance to the Northwest Passage from Lancaster Sound.

A party would travel overland to the Canadian coast by way of the Coppermine River and map as much of the coastline as possible, even rendezvous with Parry's ships. John Franklin, a lieutenant who had commanded one of David Buchan's ships the previous year, was chosen to lead the overland party. Franklin's orders were somewhat general in nature, he was to travel overland to Great Slave Lake, from there go to the coast by way of the Coppermine River. On reaching the coast he was advised to head east towards Repulse Bay and William Edward Parry's ships, but if it seemed better he was given the option of going west to map the coastline between the Coppermine and the Mackenzie Rivers, or heading north into wholly unknown seas. More serious than the ambiguity of the instructions was the fact that the expedition was organised with an limited budget. John Franklin was to take only a minimum of naval personnel, would be reliant on outside help for much of the journey. Manual assistance was meant to be provided by Métis voyageurs supplied by the Hudson's Bay Company and their rivals the North West Company, while the local Yellowknives First Nation members would act as guides and provide food should John Franklin's supplies run out.

Only four naval personnel accompanied John Franklin. As documented in his journals, a second ordinary seaman, Samuel Wilkes, was assigned to the party, but fell ill on arriving in Canada and played no further part in the expedition, returning to England with dispatches, he served as Armourer on HMS Hecla in Captain Parry's 1821 expedition. The Coppermine Expedition sailed from Gravesend on 23 May 1819 on a Hudson's Bay Company supply ship, after three months of planning, hit a note of farce; the ship had stopped off the Norfolk coast, where George Back had business to attend to, but before he had returned a favourable wind blew up and the ship sailed off, leaving Back to make his own way to their next stop in Orkney by stagecoach and ferry. A more serious problem arose in Stromness when the expedition, now reunited with Back, attempted to hire local boatmen to act as manhaulers for the first part of the trek across Canada; the people of Stromness were far less keen

Hmong customs and culture

The Hmong people are an ethnic group native to several countries, believed to have come from the Yangtze river basin area in southern China. The Hmong are known in China as the Miao. There is debate about usage of this term amongst Hmong living in the West, as it is believed by some to be derogatory, although Hmong living in China still call themselves by this name. Throughout recorded history, the Hmong have remained identifiable as Hmong because they have maintained the Hmong language and ways of life while adopting the ways of the country in which they live. In the 1960s and 1970s many Hmong were secretly recruited by the American CIA to fight against communism during the Vietnam War. After American armed forces pulled out of Vietnam, a communist regime took over in Laos, ordered the prosecution and re-education of all those who had fought against its cause during the war. Whilst many Hmong are still left in Laos, Vietnam and China, since 1975 many Hmong have fled Laos in fear of persecution.

Housed in Thai refugee camps during the 1980s, many have resettled in countries such as the United States, French Guiana, France, Germany, as well as some who have chosen to stay in Thailand in hope of returning to their own land. In the United States, new generations of Hmong are assimilating into American society while being taught Hmong culture and history by their elders. Many fear that as the older generations pass on, the knowledge of the Hmong among Hmong Americans will die as well; the clan remains a dominant organizing force in Hmong society. There are about eighteen Hmong clans that are known in Thailand. Clan membership is inherited upon birth or through adoption. All children are members of the father's clan. Women become members of their husband's family upon marriage but will retain their clan name of their father. Members of the same clan consider each other to be kwv tij, translated as "brothers", "siblings," and they are expected to offer one another mutual support; the term kwv tij is regarded as one's father's family or in the case of women who are married it refers to her in laws.

A related term neej tsa is the wife's family after marriage. However she regards her birth family to be her kwv tij. Many clans consider each last name as kwv tij Example: Khang and Kong are kwv tij because they share a history of helping each other and respect for each other. Respected clan leaders are expected to take responsibility for conflict negotiation and the maintenance of religious rituals. Members of a clan who share the same ritual practices may identify as a group on the sub-clan level. Clan groups are exogamous: that is, Hmong may not marry within their own clan group. For example, a Xiong may not marry another Xiong. However, they are allowed to marry blood relatives from their mother side; this allows for such cases as two cousins related through their mother to marry, so long as they are in different clans. Traditionally, when a boy wants to marry a girl, he will make his intentions clear, will "zij" or snatch her at any opportunity, appropriate; this is traditionally only a symbolic kidnapping.

Before he may "zij" her, the boy must first give a gift to the girl. After waiting a few days, the boy may "zij" the girl. If the boy never gave the girl a gift, she is allowed to refuse and return home with any family member who comes to save her; the parents are not notified at the time of the "zij", but an envoy from the boy's clan is sent to inform them of the whereabouts of their daughter and her safety. This envoy asks for the girl's in exchange. For example, the envoy may tell the girl's family that the groom is from a Stripe Hmong family from Luang Prabang, Laos. Before the new couple enters the groom's house, the groom's father performs a blessing ritual, asking the ancestors to accept the new bride into the household; the head of the household moves the chicken in a circular motion around the couple's head. The girl is not allowed to visit anyone's house for three days after this. After three days or more, the groom's parents will prepare the first wedding feast for the newlywed couple.

The wedding is a two-day process. At the end of this first wedding feast, the couple will return to the bride's family's home, where they spend the night preparing for the next day. On the second day, the family of the bride prepares a second wedding feast at their home, where the couple will be married. Hmong marriage customs differ based on cultural subdivisions within the global Hmong community, but all require the exchange of a bride price from the groom’s family to the bride’s family; the bride price is compensation for the new family taking the other family's daughter, as the girl's parents are now short one person to help with chores. The elders of both families negotiate the amount prior to the engagement and is traditionally paid in bars of silver or livestock. In modern times, settlements made in monetary terms are common. During the bride's time with the groom's family, she will wear their clan's traditional clothes, she will switch back to the clothes of her birth clan while visi

Placer County Transit

Placer County Transit is the operator of mass transportation in the suburbanized western portion of Placer County, excluding the city of Roseville. Six routes are provided, five of which use transit buses and one that uses commuter coaches as it connects Auburn with downtown Sacramento during four peak hour trips. Another route is designed to connect suburbanites with the Sacramento transit grid, as it travels six days per week from Auburn to the Watt/I-80 light rail station. Three six-day-per-week local routes connect Auburn and North Auburn and Auburn, Rocklin and Lincoln; the final service offered by PCT is a twice per weekday connection between Auburn and the rural Placer County. Besides fixed route service, Placer County Transit operates Dial-a-ride service in local communities. Placer Commuter Express Auburn Station to Watt Light Rail Lincoln/Rocklin/Sierra College Hwy 49/North Auburn Alta/Colfax Taylor Road Shuttle Bus Roseville Transit Sacramento Regional Transit District Website