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Norwegian ambassador opens Arctic exhibit
Posted Thursday, November 3, 2011 10:51 AM
 
NEWS
 
Her Excellency Else Berit Eikeland, Norwegian Ambassador to Canada, was on campus to discuss Norway’s High North Strategy and to open a photo exhibit of famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

On October 26, Her Excellency opened an exhibit featuring stunning photos from his stay with the Inuit at Gjoa Haven. The exhibition shows the strong influence of the Aboriginal people of Canada on Amundsen’s success as an explorer; he lived and learned in Goja Haven for 19 months.

The polar explorers’ work will be celebrated with original photos from Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the Canadian North and Arctic. The photos and lantern slides offer a unique view on Amundsen’s connection with the Canadian Aboriginal people, and the knowledge he gained from his stay in the Arctic.

On Oct. 27, Her Excellency was joined by David Barber, Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science and director of the U of M’s Centre for Earth Observation Science, at a joint lecture.

Amundsen, the namesake of the research icebreaker that allows Barber to explore the Arctic sea ice, was the first to sail the fabled Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Where Englishman John Franklin took 129 men, Amundsen took only a crew of six and after three years of living in Canada’s North, navigating its waters, he sailed the passage in its entirety.

Five years later, on December 14, 1911, Amundsen and his four-man crew finished their 800-mile trek across unmapped terrain and arrived to the South Pole, beating the British Antarctic Expedition, headed by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. (The knowledge the Inuit shared with Amundsen was key to his victory.) Scott’s expedition arrived on January 17, 1912.

Years later, in 1926, Amundsen commanded the airship Norge for the first successful crossing of the Arctic by air.

The travelling exhibit, “Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer,” will be on display in the Thorlakson Gallery, located in the Iceland Reading Room, on the third floor of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library until January 2012.

The exhibit was sent to the University of Manitoba in co-operation with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa and the Fram Museum in Oslo.
 
For more information, contact:
Sean Moore
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sean_moore@umanitoba.ca
Phone: (204) 474-7963