The overnight shift at Weeneebayko is beginning and Green, a preppy 32-year-old from Vancouver, enters the emergency room in khaki pants, a golf shirt and loafers, and prepares to patch up the wounds of an afflicted society.
The son of international development workers, he has lived in Uganda, Nigeria and the South Pacific, and practised medicine from Papua New Guinea to a native hospital in the Miramichi region of New Brunswick.
But here on the James Bay coast, as Weeneebayko's chief of staff, he faces a different task.
Early in his 12-hour shift, a call comes across the radio from an ambulance crew en route with an injured man whom Green guesses, rightly, is "HBD," for "has been drinking." The acronym comes across the radio so frequently it begins to sound as repetitive as "fries" to a drive-through attendant.
Green isn't fazed. He did a stint at an inner-city hospital in Vancouver and knows full well about the causes and consequences of intoxication. His first patient tonight - a middle-aged man named Michael - arrives with his head bloody from an apparent fall. Green stitches his forehead and orders a blood test. The man's alcohol level is 56 millimoles per litre - a good multiple of the intoxicated threshold of 12. He's much closer, in fact, to death (the lethal level is 80). But Green says he'll be fine.
In a short while, another call comes from the nursing station up the coast at Fort Albany, where a drunk has just come off a binge and can't find his blood-pressure medication. Later, a woman is rushed into the emergency room, her left wrist slashed so deeply by a broken beer bottle that two sliced tendons stand visible. She, too, is HBD, and suicidal. Green welcomes her back.
He has seen enough of the north, and the world, to know he can do little more than treat people's injuries here, and help develop a better hospital. During his six years at Moose Factory, he has seen too many other doctors who consider themselves saviours, no different really from the missionaries who once ran this hospital.
"I'm not going to march down to the council chamber and say, `You have a problem with drugs,' " Green says during a lull in the middle of the night. The inebriated man and suicidal woman are sitting on their ER beds chatting.
"The community is aware of what its issues are," the doctor continues. "Sometimes outside people may have different sense of what the priorities may be."
The danger of outsiders may not last long anyway.