Thursday, January 18, 2018


Arctic Navigator

On the 12 of August 1869, Captain Joseph Elzéar Bernier, aboard the brigantine Saint- Joseph, weighed anchor in Quebec City’s harbour, bound for England. The builder and owner of the ship was Bernier’s father, Thomas, but Thomas was not on board. Twenty-seven days later his son Joseph dropped anchor in the port of Teignmouth, Devon, England. The ocean crossing had been without incident.

Real-Life Outdoor Classroom

The Students on Ice (SOI) program brings international youth on ship-based expeditions to Earth’s Polar Regions to witness its fragile beauty and heart-rending vulnerability firsthand. Geoff Green, the director of Students on Ice, is an educator and environmentalist. His belief in the power of the outdoor classroom is firm.


My journey to Greenland started with the intent of answering these questions as much as possible. In two weeks, I travelled to a dozen villages, visiting Viking ruins, old European settlements, glaciers and ice fjords, sheep farms, museums and met with many interesting people.

A Canadian Inuit Migration to Greenland

In about the mid-1800s (the date is not certain) two groups of Inuit set out from Pond Inlet and headed north. Two men, one named Qitdlarssuaq (aka Qillaq) and the other, Oqe, each led a group of their followers toward a new homeland to the northeast.


Among the various expressions of welcome to feasts, games and gatherings, tunngasugitti (pl) is not only an expression of welcome, it is also an expression of praise and respect. It is a fitting welcome to those who come from faraway to join in a celebration. Somewhere throughout the communities in Canada’s Arctic a celebration may be taking place this very moment.

Distinguished Northerners Honoured

Early August, Rideau Hall disclosed that two well-known Northerners are to receive the Governor General’s Northern Medal (presentation ceremony date still to be announced) to honour their significant contributions to Canada’s North and its people.


Many of us older folks, especially those of us who live in small communities, are well acquainted with the echoes of that typical summertime lament teenagers are so famous for, “I’m bored! There’s nothing to do.” To address this commonplace social dilemma, a dedicated cadre of volunteers work tirelessly to source or develop appealing youth-relevant activities.

A World Apart

Sailing on Great Slave Lake offers a quiet counterpoint to the bustle of city life. The lake — especially its East Arm — is a beautiful, unspoiled sailing destination that takes years to fully explore.

Exploring the Weather at Clyde River

Inuit have noted many changes in weather over the past few decades. Among other things, they report that the weather is harder to predict than it used to be. This complaint echoes observations I’ve heard from Alaska (where I live), Canada’s western Arctic, Nunavut, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia. Something is undoubtedly going on.

Inuit Night in the City

Although the calendar indicated it was June 10, so technically still spring, the weather was fine. Better than fine... the evening was warm, the skies crystal clear. A typical summer’s night in the Capital actually, perfect for gathering up family and friends and hitting the streets for a stress-relieving bout of entertainment at week’s end.