The 2019 Arctic Return Expedition

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. 

Rae and his companions find evidence of the doomed Franklin expedition. Image courtesy of HBC archives.

In March 2019, the Arctic Return Expedition will set out from Naujaat on skis and retrace the route taken by John Rae in 1854. Rae’s success was due in great part to his willingness to learn from the Indigenous people of the region. He traveled incredible distances with patience, humility, respect and honesty. The aim of the Arctic Return journey is to bring awareness to, pay tribute, and honor John Rae, one of the greatest Arctic explorers of all time. 

An Arctic Landscape. Image courtesy of Eric Brossier.
Steady, methodical, determined. Image courtesy of Eric Brossier.
Landscape very similar to that expected during Arctic Return. Image courtesy of Hugh Dale-Harris.
Using Nature's pathways. Image courtesy of Hugh Dale-Harris.

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