The Journal of Canadian

Wilderness Canoeing

  SUMMER 2004











In this issue

Front Page



Labrador Tragedy

Summer Packet


From the Editor


Back page




The mayor of Cape Dorset, complained in CBC interview about an unexpected visit by a cruise ship that saw hundreds of tourists take his community by surprise. Oshuittuq Quvianatuliak, an employee of West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Limited in Cape Dorset, said that it "looked like they came from nowhere," and said that his store would have prepared displays for the tourists if they knew they were coming.

As a result, only a few people bought carvings while they were in town, and not one local resident got a day's works guiding tourists, or staging any kind of cultural performance.

It's a story that Nunavut Tourism has heard before. “We have no more control over cruise ship visitors than any visitors that come here.” Maureen Bundgaard, Nunavut Tourism's executive director said.

Residents of Hall Beach expected to get their first cruise ship visit this summer, but Martha Gibbons, the CEDO for Hall Beach, says "the residents here weren't quite ready yet so we moved it to next summer."

In Hall Beach, a group was established last year to investigate ways the community could benefit from tourism. But the ship was cancelled until someone could be trained to serve as a tour guide for visitors.

A few communities have managed to build a well-coordinated industry. Pond Inlet has years of experience with the industry and expects eight ships to stop in this summer to see the sights and enjoy the community programs on offer.

Ice conditions recently forced Canadian Tours International to cancel a visit to Arctic Bay this summer. In general, more and more northern boat travel is expected as the warming of the planet continues. Recent studies have shown global warming is happening fastest near the polar regions.

Knud Rasmussen was a Dane, born in Greenland, who led an expedition through Canada’s eastern Arctic from 1921 to 1924, collecting songs, stories and artifacts from the people he met.

Igloolik Isuma Productions’ will do a feature film, which documents the life and times of many members of that famous expedition. The Journals of Knud Rasmussen will not be a traditional feature film nor a documentary.

The resulting film will be a re-enactment of sorts, in English, Inuktitut and Danish, loosely based on the travels of Rasmussen.The goal is not to document Rasmussen’s exploration, but rather to  film the particular time that brought the people of Igloolik into contact with the explorers.

Two main characters are Peter Freuchen and Therkel Mathiassen, two members of the expedition who explored the northern part of Baffin Island, including the Igloolik area, during the epic trip, accompanied by Nasaitdlorssuarssuk of Greenland and Mala of the Baffin region.

Photography was rare in 1905 but that didn’t stop explorers from wanting to bring documents of their voyages home. An accepted method at the time was to cover people’s faces in plaster, in order to capture a mold that could then be used to create a bust, or cast of the face. The film will also document the arrival of Christianity. The first bible came to Igloolik from Pond Inlet in 1921, and was noted by Rasmussen during a visit to Aua’s camp.

The production team in Igloolik are now in the process of translating the script into Inuktitut. By January, a cast of 30 to 35 people, including 6 or 7 main characters, will be assembled, including some Greenlanders. Next, costumes and props will be made or found, and shooting for the Nunavut-Canada-Denmark production will begin in March.


 Summer 2004         Outfit 117 

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