Interesting to find this discussion...this song has been oft-sung, oft-requested in campfire circles here in the Yukon Territory, in British Columbia and across Canada.
This was taught to me in true folk process (written out by hand, and melody learned by ear). The person who taught it to me (and many others it seems, through a wilderness lodge on Vancouver Island) credits Faith Petric as the composer. And that's what I've been telling people.
But apparently I'm mistaken! And I;ve discovered a "missing verse" that I never learned. This is great to clear this up. Thanks to you and the Internet!
[And if anyone knows how I can reach Peter to find out who owns the publishing rights, I'd appreciate it!!]