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SOURCE Parks Canada
Project will increase awareness of Inuit interaction with 1845 expedition
GJOA HAVEN, NU, June 13, 2018 /CNW/ - The locations of the Franklin Expedition vessels were a mystery for over 150 years, after Sir John Franklin and his crew went missing while searching for a Northwest Passage. Over time, Inuit traditional knowledge (Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit) combined with modern technology, led to the discovery of the wreck sites of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Now, over 150 years since the vessels settled on the ocean floor, there is still much to learn from the story of these shipwrecks.
Today, Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee are pleased to announce that – following a competitive process – a contract has been awarded to gather Inuit oral histories surrounding the 1845 Franklin Expedition.
The contract was awarded to Know History and its partners, NVision Insight Group Inc. and Konek Productions,
The Franklin Expedition Inuit Oral History Project will increase awareness of the contributions of Inuit to the discovery of the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and further document Inuit interactions with Sir John Franklin and his crew. Inuit will be key participants in the planning and delivery of this project, which will include Inuit youth and elders.
Material shared by Inuit knowledge holders through this project will be included in a book, and will also contribute to content for future exhibits at the Nattillik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven and on Parks Canada's and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association's websites. Other research materials such as video, audio recordings, interview transcripts and the book manuscript, will be shared by Inuit and Parks Canada through the exhibits at the Nattillik Heritage Centre and the websites.
Know History will be assisted by the former Commissioner of Nunavut, Edna Elias, who will serve as the team's lead interviewer and translator. Know History and its partners will work closely with the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven, the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee, and Parks Canada throughout the project's duration. The project's proposed completion date is December 2019.
Parks Canada is also working with the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee to develop an Inuit Guardians Program for the two vessels. Guardians will be posted at both wreck sites throughout the open-water period to monitor the sites, report any unauthorized vessel traffic, and help Parks Canada ensure the protection of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.
"Working collaboratively with Inuit, Parks Canada is continuing to share the fascinating and expanding story of the Franklin Expedition with Canadians and the world. Over a hundred years after the Erebus and Terror settled on the Arctic Ocean floor, The Franklin Expedition Inuit Oral History Project will help us better understand the incredible role of Inuit in the discovery of the Franklin wrecks. I wish Know History and their partners every success as they research and document this priceless Inuit Oral history."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"The Franklin Interim Advisory Committee is delighted that the project proposed by late member, distinguished historian Louie Kamookak, will be undertaken by Know History. We are also pleased that the project will involve many Inuit in its planning and delivery, and we look forward to providing our advice and guidance as the project proceeds."
Chair, Franklin Interim Advisory Committee
"Know History is honoured to be part of the team that will collect, document, and present the Inuit oral history related to the Franklin Expedition. With our partners, NVision Insight Group and Konek Productions, we are dedicated to ensuring the community has the opportunity to share with the rest of the world their history and understanding of this important part of Canada's past. We are exceptionally fortunate to have Edna Elias leading the interviews, which will allow Inuit to tell their history in their language."
Director, Know History
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