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Arctic Trivia Quiz


Audacious international Arctic adventurers have explored our nation’s northern regions in search of wealth and a key trade route. Inukshuks, cairns, relics and assorted artifacts are found in mute testimony to the bold expeditions they endured during their dauntless endeavours. Test your knowledge of these historic intrepid travellers. 

1. Jacques Cartier (1491‐1557) led three expeditions up the St. Lawrence River in search of the Northeast Passage (1534‐35‐41). These expeditions would subsequently enable France to lay claim to the lands that would be known as “Kanata” (later Canada). What did this translate into from the Huron‐Iroquois Nations language? 

a) “new land”
b) “and of plenty”
c) “settlement”
d) “meeting place” 

2. Sir Martin Frobisher (1535‐94), was a British mariner, privateer, and explorer. The seaman completed three voyages in search of the Northwest Passage. On what Arctic island will you find Frobisher Bay? 

a) Prince Charles Island
b) King William Island
c) Wales Island
d) Baffin Island 

3. Which French explorer was instrumental in forming the Hudson Bay Company (a fur trading monopoly) in 1670 after receiving a royal charter for the exclusive rights to the land surrounding Hudson Bay? 

a) Pierre Radisson
b) Samuel de Champlain
c) Jean Ribault
d) Nicolas Denys 

4. During 1903‐06, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872‐1928), led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He was also the leader of the first air expedition to the North Pole in what year? 

a) 1908
c) 1914
b) 1920
d) 1926 

5. Sir John Franklin (1786‐1847), disappeared while on an expedition to chart and navigate the Northwest Passage in 1847. Two years earlier, Franklin was given command of what specialized warship used during the War of 1812? 

a) HMS Erebus
b) HMS Terror
c) HMS Polaris
d) HMS Challenger 

6. Ellesmere Island (NU) was named for the Earl of Ellesmere during the Sir Edward Inglefield expedition in 1852. Next to Greenland it has the second most northernly national park on earth and the second largest in Canada. Ellesmere is a true polar desert and in 2000 an official National Park was created on the northern part of the island and its name translates into “top of the world” in Inuktitut. Which one of the following applies? 

a) Auyuittuq
b) Quttinirpaaq
c) Aulavik
d) Ivvavik 

7. Robert Peary Sr. (1856‐1920) led seven Arctic expeditions with his African American assistant, Matthew Henson. In what year were they reputedly the first to reach the North Pole? 

a) 1894
b) 1899
c) 1904
d) 1909 

8. Knud Rasmussen (1879 – 1933) was a Danish polar explorer who was the first European to traverse the entire Northwest Passage via dog sled. He compiled information pertaining to archaeological, biological, and ethnographic data on the Inuit culture during his six Thule Expeditions. What did “Thule” (aka Qaanaaq) represent (in 1910)? 

a) A wooden Viking vessel
b) Historic maritime Arctic passageway
c) Most northernly trading post in the world
d) Indigenous name for Inuit heritage 

9. Robert Bartlett (1875‐1946) was an Arctic explorer who went on three expeditions with Robert Peary. In 2009, to commemorate the centennial of his last expedition, Canada Post issued (a 54‐cent) postage stamp. In what Canadian town was he born? 

a) Abbottsford, BC
b) Brigus, NL
c) Churchill. MB
d) Dresden, ON 

10.Which explorer revealed in a candid interview that he had encountered a new enemy (“UFO”) that could fly from pole to pole at incredible speeds, during Operation High Jump. 

a) Admiral Byrd
b) Admiral Halsey
c) Robert Scott
d) Ernest Shackleton 


1. c) “settlement” (or “village”) 
2. d) Baffin Island 
3. a) Pierre Radisson 
4. d) 1926 
5. b) HMS Terror 
6. b) Quttinirpaaq National Park 
7. d) 1909 
8. c) Most northernly trading post in the world 
9. b) Brigus, NL 
10. a) Admiral Byrd 

VIAAlan G. Luke
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