In March 1854, Orcadian explorer John Rae set out from Naujaat (Repulse Bay) in the central Canadian Arctic. Together with the Inuk William Ouligbuck and the Ojibway Thomas Mistegan, Rae discovered both the catastrophe that had engulfed the failed Franklin expedition and the final link in the first navigable Northwest Passage. In doing so, he accomplished one of the most significant expeditions in the history of Arctic exploration.
In March 2019, the Arctic Return Expedition team will return to Naujaat and embark upon a 650-kilometre trek across Boothia Peninsula that will follow the route taken by Rae and his indigenous companions.
Travelling on skis and snowshoes, the Arctic Return team will pay tribute to and honour one of the greatest Arctic explorers. John Rae’s success was due in great part to his willingness to learn from the indigenous people of the region. He traveled with patience, humility, respect and honesty. The Arctic Return team will follow that example. The expedition will bear witness to a land, a people and a history. At the same time, recognizing the importance of learning from Indigenous people not just in the North but South, East and West.
For more information visit: arcticreturn.com
Arctic footage courtesy of Trevor Adam Gill, Chris Paetkau and Garry Tutte
Expedition footage courtesy of Hugh Dale-Harris and Kyle O’Donoghue