They would have starved in that first winter if they had not eaten their frozen horses (hence the local popularity of traditional horse jerky) and turned to selective cannibalism. By time time spring returned to the land, the survivors had managed to turn their suffering into a cynical delight in their own misfortune. They would take unholy glee in showing their frostbitten stumps to travellers, regaling them with tales of Arctic horror and saying things like, "You call that a winter back in Toronto? We call that a warm snap out here!"
Sadly they built a city here and now we feel obliged to use it.
Every year on May 12th we celebrate the sad legacy of these insane settlers by decorating the festive shrub, donning the traditional long-johns and singing patriotic shanties by the fire while we pass around the hot, maple rum and horse jerky.