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2015 Malerualik Expedition

(Photo: Jason Fulford/Canadian Geographic)

A major legacy of the Parks Canada-led 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition was the rise in public awareness and recognition of traditional knowledge, and its significance in helping Canadians better understand their country.  While Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) is more generally understood to inform Canadian policy and decision-making about wildlife and environmental issues, Inuit oral history directly contributed to solving one of the world's great mysteries with the discovery of HMS Erebus.

With the support of The Cloverleaf Foundation, and in partnership with Canadian North, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is proud to build on the interest created by Park’s Canada’s historic breakthrough last year through its support of the 2015 Malerualik Expedition, a unique, RCGS flag expedition through the Simpson Strait, designed to capture and record the transference of ATK regarding Franklin to the next generation.

Led by celebrated Inuit historian and Polar Medal winner, Louie Kamookak, student participants from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut were joined by educator Josephine Kamookak and elder Jimmy Qirqqut. Together, Louie and his team shared Inuit histories and place names with the students, connecting them to their own heritage. As these stories were shared, the expedition team traveled to key Franklin and Inuit sites, including Todd Island, Peddle Point and Douglas Bay.

Not only did the expedition inspire renewed interest in Inuit oral tradition and the Franklin expedition among the student participants from Gjoa Haven, but it will also become the source for lesson plans on ATK that will be shared with young people in classrooms across the country through Canadian Geographic Education’s network of over 15,000 educators. Stay tuned also for extensive expedition coverage in Canadian Geographic and on

Canadian Geographic in the Classroom teaching activities from the Malerualik Expedition are now available in English, French and Inuktituk. Visit Canadian Geographic Education to download the activities.

Help support expeditions like this one. Donate to the RCGS.

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