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January/February 2012

With the High North as its highest foreign policy priority, Norway has set an admirable example of peaceful and responsible develop – ment in the North. This, says Her Excellency Else Berit Eikeland (Norwegian Ambassador to Canada), has resulted largely from an insistence on meticulous scientific research and a strong emphasis on cooperation with other Arctic nations.

Recently, the Ambassador visited Winnipeg in a gesture that looks toward a bright future for Canadian-Norwegian cooperation by celebrating its historic beginnings forged by polar explorers and the Inuit people. She spoke at the University of Manitoba on Norwegian policy in the High Arctic where she emphasized increased international collaboration as the key to understanding and adapting to the current and future impacts of climate change in the North.

She made additional stops at the University’s Thorlakson Gallery and Manitoba Legislative Building to open the exhibit Cold Recall: Roald Amundsen’s Reflections from the Northwest Passage, an exhibit she calls “a celebration of the indigenous people of Canada.” Here, journal entries and hand-tinted photographs by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen offer a glimpse into his 1903-1906 groundbreaking expedition through the fabled Northwest Passage. Two years of this journey were spent with the Inuit around present day Gjoa Haven. It is from these people that Amundsen adopted an understanding of the survival skills required to endure the harsh Arctic climate. This invaluable traditional knowledge has been credited in the success of his 1911 achievement of planting the first flag at the South Pole. The exhibit also celebrates the centennial of this epic achievement.

Cold Recall runs until January 13 before moving on to the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit in February, The MacBride Museum in Whitehorse in April and to Gimli, Manitoba, in June.