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Northern People, Northern Knowledge - 
The Story Of The Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913 - 1918
Introducing the Expedition
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Picture a group of thirty rugged men of many sorts and disciplines and from many different countries, gathered together with their two leaders for the first time, in the tiny coastal village of Nome, Alaska. It was July of 1913. They had no inkling of a world war starting the next year. They simply looked ahead to exploration and research in the icy wilderness of Canada's Arctic for the next three years. Seventeen of those men would not return home. Most of the scientists, after working and living alongside the people of the north, returned almost four years later, scarcely informed about the war, and carrying with them thousands of artifacts, crates of specimens, photos, film and sound recordings; scientific data and knowledge which has been used in Arctic science ever since. Later the others returned, having carried the Canadian flag to 80° north, and having claimed three new islands for Canada.

Much of the story of this first major Canadian scientific expedition to the Arctic is yet untold. Though fourteen volumes of scientific data were published, and books have been written on the most tragic or adventuresome parts of the Expedition, much of the fascinating story has remained buried in Expedition diaries until now. Through this virtual exhibition you can explore first-hand the rugged lands and meet the people of the Canadian Arctic.


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Repairing a broken sled during Stefansson's ice trip north of Martin Point, northern Alaska. March 25, 1914. GHW 50773. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Dr. R. M. Anderson and Patsy Klengenberg cleaning specimens, both seated alongside tent, Bernard Harbour, Nunavut. June 10, 1915. GHW 50932. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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CAE schooner North Star, Natkusiak and Aarnout Castel on deck, view from rocky shore, Cape Barrow, Coronation Gulf, Nunavut. August 12, 1915. RMA 38732. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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The three Inuit men who worked for the Southern Party of the CAE: Manilenna (from Herschell Island), Anutisiak (also known as Ikey Bolt, Alaskan), and Mike (Siberia), at Baillie Islands, N.W.T. July 26, 1916. DJ 36911. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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CAE Navy: schooners North Star on left, Alaska, and Mary Sachs (partly hidden behind Alaska), Herschel Island, Yukon Territory. August 10, 1914. JJO 38668. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Charles Klengenberg's snowbound house and vessel at Cape Lyon; from left, Charles, Edna, and Patsy Klengenberg, Chipman, and Ikey Bolt beside O'Neill's loaded sled, Amundsen Gulf, Nunavut. April 25, 1915. JJO 38675. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Group photo of CAE members and others, Herschel Island. August 7, 1914. GHW 51435. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization