Qitdlarssuaq Returning Home | Canadian High Arctic 2022
Updated: Oct 13
A 1200km Arctic journey across the Nares Strait from Greenland to Canada, along the east coast of Ellesmere Island and onto Baffin Island – following the never completed return home of the famed Qitdlarssuaq migration.
The story. In the mid-1800s, an Inuit shaman named Qitdlarssuaq left Baffin Island with a small band of about 50. They travelled for nearly a decade, finally connecting with the Polar Inuit of northwest Greenland. He found the population nearly extinct, with barely a hundred people. From the passing of many elders, they had lost the skills for building critical survival equipment such as the bow and arrow, kayak, and fish spear. The arrival of Qitdlarssuaq brought a revival of these people, by reintroducing practical knowledge and expertise, and bringing new diversity for their gene pool. To this day, many of the families in northwestern Greenland are descendants of these “Canadian” migrants. Qitdlarssuaq eventually decided to return home to Baffin Island, but died along the way.
The journey. This expedition will follow Qitdlarssuaq’s desired return home. The journey will commence via dog team, led by veteran polar explorer Lonnie Dupre who, along with Inuit hunters, will accompany the team to the edge of Smith Sound. Here, the team of three will don their skis to make a 43 kilometer crossing to Pim Island, on the shores of Ellesmere Island, Canada. They will continue southwest towards the village of Grise Fjord, where they will resupply before the final ski to the hamlet of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island.
The outcomes. Share this incredible Canadian heritage about Inuit culture through stunning imagery of the people, communities, and incredible topography. Crossing the Nares Strait - an area referred to as “the last ice” - and the famous Lancaster Sound inevitably brings attention to climate change. Ultimately, this expedition fits a wide range of interests, and is sure to capture the imaginations of Canadians and the world as they discover the fragile gem that is Canada’s High Arctic.
Pascale Marceau – Team Leader
Scott Cocks - Navigation | Gear & Logistics
Jayme Dittmar - Photographer | Filmmaker | Dog Musher northexposurestudios.com
Lonnie Dupre - Dog Sledge Escort to Edge of Arctic Ocean lonniedupre.com
Huk!Huk!Huk! Hike! Hike!Hike!