Geographical discovery

Northern Party

The Expedition redrew the map of northern Canada. The Northern Party covered huge tracts of the Arctic never seen before, even by the Inuit. Along the way they discovered four major islands, which were added to Canada's territory.

The Expedition also corrected significant errors in maps drawn by earlier explorers, took soundings of the ocean floor—vital to our understanding of the polar Continental Shelf—and carried out the first tidal observations in the area.

Members of the Northern Party welcoming Stefansson on his arrival at Banks Island, after the 96-day ice trip

Members of the Northern Party welcoming Stefansson on his arrival at Banks Island, after the 96-day ice trip.
Photo: George Hubert Wilkins
September 1914
CMC 50868

Northern Party camp on Meighen Island, Nunavut

Northern Party camp on Meighen Island, Nunavut.
Photo: Vilhjalmur Stefansson
June 1916
CMC 50687

Dog sled and snowhouses near hills on Melville Island, Northwest Territories

Dog sled and snowhouses near hills on Melville Island, Northwest Territories.
Photo: George Hubert Wilkins
April 1916
CMC 51146

Southern Party

The Southern Party completed the detailed mapping of the Arctic coast from Alaska to Bathurst Inlet. It also mapped the East Channel of the Mackenzie River—the area where Inuvik is now located—and important copper deposits near Bathurst Inlet.

Diamond Jenness trading with Copper Inuit who had travelled to Bernard Harbour to meet the expedition

Diamond Jenness trading with Copper Inuit who had travelled to Bernard Harbour to meet the expedition.
Photo: Frits Johansen
September 1914
CMC 42233

Southern Party set out to explore the Coppermine River

In February, the Southern Party set out to explore the Coppermine River and to try to get mail sent to Ottawa. Unfortunately, the snow was too deep and they had to turn back. As a result, the expedition missed the news that the First World War had begun in Europe.
Photo: Rudolph M. Anderson
February 1915
CMC 39245

John Cox taking latitude measurements at harbour at Cape Barrow

John Cox taking latitude measurements at harbour at Cape Barrow, Nunavut.
Photo: Kenneth Chipman
CMC 43279