Photo by LOnnie Dupre North Pole.JPG

Qitdlarssuaq | Returning Home
March 2022

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.

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; 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. To this day, many of the families in northwestern Greenland are descendants of these Inuit migrants. Qitdlarssuaq eventually decided to return home to Baffin Island, but died along the way.

Dates: March-May 2022 - approximately 68 days. 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 Fiord, where they will resupply before the final ski to the hamlet of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island.

As we retrace Qitdlarssuaq’s return journey home, the global temperature increases, sea ice disappears and the people depending on northern ecosystems face hardship. We will provide glimpses of these difficult truths. Imagery will be designed to evoke and widen our experiences to the world while revealing we are undeniably connected to the fate of the Arctic, its ecological fabric, and the larger planet we call “Home.”

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Pascale Marceau – Team Leader

Scott Cocks - Navigation | Gear & Logistics

Jayme Dittmar - Photographer | Filmmaker | Dog Musher

Lonnie Dupre - Dog Sledge Escort to Edge of Arctic Ocean