the absence of the HACC, there are a couple of
interesting online canoe trips planned to go ahead this
summer. One of the most ambitious is a group from France
who are crossing North America in a large birchbark
canoe. Dubbed the Boreal Confluence Expedition
the group of six paddlers in a birchbark North canoe
will go from the mouth of the Columbia River to Hudson
Bay a journey of 3500 miles. That’s a very ambitious
trip that includes the crossing of Athabasca Pass. The
updates so far have been sporadic. Their Web site is
Another hardy online
adventure is being planned by Heinz Götze and Jan
Dettmer. Check out
www.open-canoe.de/ellice/index.html to find the
The Ellice River 2003: By Fair Means Expedition
which espouses the non-fly-in philosophy of Stewart
Coffin written here in Outfit 46. (It’s reprinted on
their Web site.) They are heading from the end of the
road in Yellowknife to paddle the Ellice River which
drains into the Arctic Ocean north of the Back River.
The two-month 750 mile trip begins by heading up the
Yellowknife River. In addition, there will be no food
drops - they are doing it the pure way and good luck to
them! One of their sponsors is the superb Walker’s
shortbread. Hmm . . now there’s an idea for the HACC to
the more interesting non-online trips is by a veteran
pairing of Dick Irwin and Carl and Margie Shepardson.
Dick gave us a brief synopsis. “I am doing a 60 day trip
with Carl Shepardson and family from Yellowknife to
Kugluktuk (Coppermine) via the East Arm of Great Slave,
Lockhart and Coppermine Rivers. Our plan to connect the
Lockhart and Coppermine is to ascend the Thonokied River
from the west arm of Aylmer to Thonokied Lake. From the
north-west bay of this lake it's a 5-6 mile portage
through a chain of lakes to the east end of Lac de Gras.
At this point an Air Tindi 185 will fly in with Carl's
wife, Margie and food for the Coppermine; Carl's nephew
Todd will fly out.”
Another interesting trip is
by Troy Gipps and party who will do the Hubbard-Wallace
route of 1903. It’s a punishing route up the Susan and
Beaver River enroute to the George via the tree studded
and virtually unnavigable Smallwood Reservoir. The group
plans to locate the spot where Hubbard died, marked by a
We’re not sure if anyone has
done this trip in the last 100 years, no one springs to
mind. You might recall that an young British woman and
lone Innu guide tried to re-create the 1905 trip up the
Naskaupi River two years ago with little success. Of
course Hubbard, Wallace and Elson took the wrong turn
and ended up a river with no natural or historical
connections - until they arrived.
part of its 30th anniversary celebration, the Canada
Council Art Bank decided to enhance its collection and
announced last fall that it would make a special
purchase of Aboriginal art. More than 400 artists from
across the country sent in photos of works to be judged.
Seventy-one works by 61
First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists - with a total
value of about $150,000 - were selected.
Thirty-nine of the 71 pieces
came from Nunavut artists. The Council spent about
$33,000 on work by artists currently living in Nunavut,
and an additional $15,000 on pieces by Nunavut-born
artists who live in other parts of Canada.
Twenty-eight artists from
Clyde River, Kimmirut, Cape Dorset, Iqaluit, Igloolik,
Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake, Paginating and Qikiqtarjuaq
are represented in the purchases.
The art bank was created in
1972 to support the efforts of Canadian visual artists
and provide public-sector institutions with the
opportunity to rent artwork for their offices. Of the
18,000-piece collection, about 6,400 pieces are out on
rental to more than 200 government and corporate clients
across the country.
2003 commercial muskox harvest in Cambridge Bay has been
cancelled and the chair of the muskox harvest working
group says the earliest a commercial harvest could be
back up and running is the spring of 2005.
The commercial harvest
differs from a domestic harvest in that meat from the
commercial harvest is sold to the Kitikmeot Foods plant
in Cambridge Bay, which must meet Canadian Food
Inspection Agency regulations in terms of the how the
meat is slaughtered and processed.
The group determined that it
would have cost about $460,000 to launch a harvest this
spring. The money would have been spent to set up a
temporary camp and abattoir for a month and cover the
operational costs of the hunt.
But there are new food
inspection regulations on the horizon which would mean
another outlay of money for next spring’s hunt.The
market for qiviut, the woolly under fur of the muskox,
is in high demand throughout the world right now and
little attention has been paid to other byproducts from
Now, hunters look at taking
about 300 or 400 animals per year, which brings in about
$170,000 in meat and hides. While the commercial harvest
is on hold, the muskox population continues to grow out
of control. The plan is for this year and next year
embark on the domestic harvest and take 300 to 400
animals per year and satisfy the community in terms of
federal minister of Indian Affairs and Northern
Development has asked for a revised description of the
Bathurst Inlet Port and Road Project because its backers
dropped a section of the development's original plan.
The original project
involved building two sections of all-weather road that
would connect a seaport on Bathurst Inlet to Izok Lake
and its rich lead-zinc deposits. Accessing the Izok Lake
minerals was considered the reason for the project.
The first road section would
stretch 130 miles from the seaport to the eastern shore
of Contwoyto Lake. The second section would measure 50
miles and run from the lake's western shore to Izok
But last fall, the mine's
developers indefinitely postponed it's construction
because global zinc prices have floundered. In November
2002, the Bathurst road project's backers followed suit
and dropped the second road section from their plans.