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The Story Of The Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913 - 1918
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In January Anderson prepared reports and purchased specimens of wolverines and muskoxen from visiting Inuit, Jenness continued to record details of Inuit life, and all made preparations for winter trips. The survey parties headed east again in March to search for muskoxen and to complete the studies of the copper deposits around Bathurst Inlet. At Bernard Harbour, Jenness acquired a large collection of representative utensils, tools, weapons and clothing of the Copper Inuit through trading; as well, he recorded many songs, and cultural traditions.

On 18 April the first snow bunting of the season flew around Alaska, at Bernard Harbour, marking the end of her third winter in the ice. All of the Expedition parties returned by early June. The police officers returned with two prisoners to go to the Herschel Island Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) post on the Alaska. With the melt proceeding faster than the previous year, several days of cutting and blasting allowed Alaska to float free on 23 June.

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K.G. Chipman and trader D'arcy Arden standing beside their tent, before starting to pack overland from the mouth of Coppermine River to Great Bear Lake. June 1, 1916. RMA 38763. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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CAE house, Bernard Harbour, Nunavut. July 12, 1916. RMA 38776. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Corporal W.V. Bruce, RNWMP (left) and G.H. Wilkins on shore with a canoe, immediately before departure of CGS Alaska for Nome, Alaska, from Bernard Harbour, Nunavut. July 12, 1916. RMA 39203. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

Space was a real problem as there were twenty-seven people on the small schooner: six scientists, a crew of three, two RNWMP officers, fourteen Inuit employees, two Inuit prisoners, and 25 dogs. In addition to the expedition collections and equipment, there was the Inuits' personal gear, stores for paying off Native employees, and enough provisions for another wintering if ice conditions prevented them from sailing to Nome. Sporting a bright new coat of paint, Alaska left Bernard Harbour 13 July 1916.

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RNWMP Inspector La Nauze (with camera case), Dr. Anderson (in cap), and J.J. O'Neill, well bundled up, on the deck of CGS Alaska, ice in the Gulf, Young Point, Amundsen Gulf, Nunavut. July 20, 1916. GHW 51293. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Distant view of a long low sandbar, Hudson's Bay Company post with flag flying, Charlie Klengenberg's schooner, and tents at Baillie Islands, the most northerly trading post in Canada (at that time), Cape Bathurst, N.W.T. July 26, 1916. RMA 39468. Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization


Alaska arrived at Herschel Island on 28 August. The Native employees, Adam Ovayuak, Mike Siberia, and Manilenna, were paid off, and the stores, equipment, and mail for the Northern Party were assembled for sending north.

The Alaska was much less crowded when she left Herschel Island, with only three crew members and six scientists on board. She encountered heavy ice practically all the way from the international boundary to Point Barrow, Alaska. They passed into the Bering Sea at the beginning of a heavy gale, on the evening of 11 August.

Four rough days later, Alaska finally reached Nome again. Although the weather was still bad, they were able to put the cargo ashore. The Alaska was hauled up on the beach at Nome, in good shape except for the engine and some minor leakage. The extensive collections made by the party in geology, ethnology, biology, and photography, and the records of the Southern Party, were thus landed safely at Nome. The 173 pieces of expedition freight and the Southern Party scientists were back in Ottawa by October 1916, after almost four years of gaining new knowledge of the Canadian north.