Thursday, 30 April 2009

Seeka Veevee Parsons’ reaction to New Zealand's uproar


Candian tourist Seeka Veevee Parsons' comments about New Zealand's iconic Eskimo lollies caused a furore yesterday. The 21-year-old Inuit was surprised by the many negative responses to her claim Eskimo was a derogatory name for her people. You can read her own explanation for her stance here:


Well I am very surprised at some of the comments on this story but also thank the people who have the same insight into this situation. I did not bring this issue up to offend any residents of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the product and to help you understand how the term Eskimo makes me feel.

I offer you my point of view and only wanted to share with you the correct term for my people. Yes, there is much to be discovered in this world and I feel that it is my right to stand up for the Inuit people and to speak out for those who do not have a voice here.

I am happy that you have enjoyed these lollies for such a long time.

I just ask if you have ever been to the Canadian Arctic or met an Inuit person before? Have you had a chance to learn about our rich culture?


You may not understand what I am saying but what I say comes from my heart and from the history of my family and Inuit people.

I just want to get the message out about the term Eskimo, to educate people and to ask that we all be treated with respect, non-discrimination, and equality.

Say what you like but I know my past and I continue to discover my future and will always stand up for what I believe in.

Nakummek, thank-you.

Eskimo lollies rile Inuit; Canadian High Commissioner has blamed Kiwis' "rednecky element"

Eskimo lollies rile Inuit


A staple lolly of the New Zealand 50-cent mixture has upset a Canadian tourist because she considers its name and shape offensive.

Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons, 21, an Inuit from the Nunavut Territory in Canada, said the Eskimo lolly, manufactured by Cadbury/Pascall, was an insult to her people.

The word "Eskimo" was unacceptable in her country and carried negative racial connotations, she said. She intended to send packets of the confectionery to the Canadian prime minister and her grandfather, a Inuit tribal elder.

When she found the lollies for sale in Timaru, she was surprised a company would be able to use the word for a product. "When I was a little girl, white kids in the community used to tease me about it in a bad way."



MARK DWYER/ Taranaki Daily News
CULTURAL CRINGE: Canadian tourist Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons, 21, an Inuit, is upset New Zealanders eat confectionary called Eskimos. She says both the name and shape of the lolly are derogatory to her people.

- - - - - -

Eskimos to stay, maker says


Pascalls have no plans to rename or stop selling Eskimo lollies, despite the offence they have caused some Inuit people.

"We have no intention to rename, reshape or remove the product, and trust that consumers will continue to enjoy Pascall Eskimos," Cadbury spokesman Daniel Ellis said.

Controversy over the iconic sweets erupted after a Canadian tourist visiting New Zealand raised concerns. Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons, 21, an Inuit of the Nunavut Territory in Canada, said they were an insult and planned to send packets of the confectionary to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and her grandfather, a tribal elder.

A Christchurch academic has also called the sweets offensive saying Inuit friends in Canada likened the popular sweet to "eating white people".

In a statement today Pascall/Cadbury said Eskimos were "an iconic New Zealand lolly".

The company produced almost 19 million individual Eskimos last year, which made it "one of our most sought after".

- - - - - - -

It's the great Eskimo debate

Waikato Times  [excerpt]

A claim we have been collectively guilty of gross cultural insensitivity by biting into marshmallows called Eskimos for the last 54 years caught the country on the hop this week.

Canadian tourist Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons claimed the 190g bags of lollies on New Zealand shop shelves were an insult to her people, both in terms of the name, which she said had racial overtones, and the shape, which stereotyped her people as igloo dwellers. She has also complained about our icecream Eskimo Pie. Ms Parsons maintained the term Eskimo was an insult and had been replaced with Inuit. The 21-year-old from the Nunavut territory in northeast Canada planned to make Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and her grandfather, an Inuit tribal elder, aware of the Pascall lollies.

So should the Eskimo and Eskimo Pie be condemned as another gollywog, redesigned and renamed? Despite Ms Parson's claims, while the word Eskimo has fallen from favour in parts of Canada, it is still widely used.

She claimed seeing it aroused painful memories because white children teased her as a child but it seems strange that she had to travel halfway around the world before finding a theatre to make a complaint. The city of Edmonton, in her own country, has turned out to cheer the Edmonton Eskimos hockey, soccer and baseball clubs over the years. It's likely the confectionary on sale at those games would have included many Eskimo Pies. It was a chocolate icecream dreamed up in the US, not New Zealand, in 1920 and sold worldwide. Edmonton is in Alberta. So is Calgary, where Canadian Prime Minister Harper has been MP for the last seven years.

- - - - - - -

Commissioner wades into lolly row



BRADLEY AMBROS/Taranaki Daily News
OFENSIVE LOLLY: Pascall Eskimos have made headlines around the world after an Inuit women approached The Taranaki Daily News saying that they are insensitive to her culture.


New Zealand's Canadian High Commissioner has blamed Kiwis' "rednecky element" for comments suggesting a tourist should go home after complaining about Eskimo lollies.

NZ High Commissioner Kate Lackey said New Zealand residents were as loyal to Eskimos lollies as Canadians were to Tim Hortons coffee, the Canadian Press reported.

But rude radio comments and online calls for the 21-year-old tourist to head back to Canada were not acceptable, she told Canadian media yesterday.

"I would hope New Zealanders would be a bit more courteous and understanding," Lackey said.

"I'll probably get into trouble in New Zealand for saying such a thing, but often there's a sort of 'rednecky' element ... The people who get on talk-back (radio) and Stuff haven't had time to think through a bit more deeply how the other person might feel."

The Eskimo lolly controversy, which erupted this week, has gone international since Canadian tourist Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons told the Taranaki Daily News the sweets were insensitive to her culture and bought back painful memories of racism in Canada as a child.

More via

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

History of Eskimo Pie

FOOD - Business History of Manufacturers
Christian K. Nelson - Eskimo Pie ( archives/images/d8553-2.jpg)

July 13, 1921 - Christian K. Nelson, chocolate maker Russell C. Stover entered into a joint agreement in Des Moines, IA to produce, market Nelson's "I-Scream Bar"; name changed to Eskimo Pie ("coat ice cream with chocolate [sic] divide the profits equally"); decided to sell manufacturing rights to local ice cream companies for $500 to $1000, plus royalties on each Eskimo Pie sold; first 250,000 pies produced sold within 24 hours; spring 1922 -  2,700 manufacturers sold one million Eskimo Pies per day; January 24, 1922 - Nelson, of Onawa, IA, received patent for a "Confection"; Eskimo Pie; ice cream centre covered in chocolate; described: "in its simplest form, a block or brick or frozen confection within an edible container or shell. The core or center may be an ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, ice, or other material congealed by refrigeration"; shell was described as "like that used in coating chocolate candies, although preferably modified to harden at a lower temperature," and not too brittle; half patent assigned to Russell Stover (Chicago, IL); 1922 - Stover sold his share of the company; 1924 - acquired by United States Foil Company, supplier of Eskimo Pie wrapper (later known as Reynolds Metals Company); October 3, 1929 -  U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared 1922 patent was invalid, due to "lack of invention"; April 13, 1943 - registered "Eskimo Pie" trademark first used October 3, 1921 (ice cream); 1992 - Eskimo Pie became independent of Reynolds' Metals.

Eskimo stays despite frosty reception

Humble Eskimo lolly gives tourist a bad taste

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

StatsCan: April 28, 2009. Employment Insurance: Statistics by province and territory

The Daily, Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Employment Insurance
Northwest Territories, 810, 850, 40, 180, 4.9, 26.9. Nunavut, 430, 450, 20,
140, 4.7, 45.2. Initial and renewal claims received. Canada, 274680,
325650, 50970, 113090, 18.6, 53.2. Newfoundland and Labrador, 9590, 10030,
440, 1120 ...
Statistics Canada, The Daily

Employment Insurance:

Statistics by province and territory

January to February 2009
                                 % change
Northwest Territories  -3.0
Nunavut                     -9.1

February 2008 to February 2009
                                % change
Northwest Territories  18.5
Nunavut                     53.8

GDP growth last year: statscan - the Northwest Territories shrank.

Only half the provinces had positive GDP growth last year: statscan
The Canadian Press - OTTAWA
Yukon and Nunavut both saw higher GDP, while the Northwest Territories
shrank. The agency said national economic growth was sluggish during the
first half ...

2009 Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival - Deadline June 19

For distribution

2009 Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival
Deadline June 19

The 8th Annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (WAFF) invites artists to submit their work to one of North America's longest-running indigenous film and video festivals, happening this November 18-22, 2009. Submissions are now being accepted in 7 categories.  WAFF pays screening fees to artists and there is no submission fee for entries received on or before the June 19 deadline (with a $25 late fee applying thereafter).

For complete rules and entry forms, go to
or email

Monday, 27 April 2009

Northwest Territories (NWT): Family Mediation Program Offers an Alternative to Court - Mediation Program Offers an Alternative to Court ...
YELLOWKNIFE (April 23, 2009) – Northwest Territories (NWT) families will now have improved access to mediation services to help them through legal disputes, Minister of Justice Jackson Lafferty announced today. ...

"This program is free and is available throughout the NWT," said Minister Lafferty. "It encourages people to work together to have their issues resolved in a way that works for them. It is particularly helpful in cases where the parties are trying to work out custody and access."

"This is a great step forward for progressive remediation in the NWT," said Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins, who raised attention to the issue during the February Budget Session. "This program will help Northerners going through separation or divorce negotiations to peacefully mitigate their differences in the best interest of their families."

Mediation services were piloted from 2005-2008 using a single mediator. The expanded program uses a roster of six mediators and is available throughout the territory.

Mediation is usually much faster and less expensive than going to court: agreements can sometimes be reached within a few hours. Mediation is not suitable for all situations, however; both parties must be willing to participate, and there must not be significant power imbalances in the relationship.

The Department of Justice is working with judges and lawyers who practice family law to make improvements to the family-law system in the NWT. The goal is to create a more effective and accessible system that gives families more choices for resolving legal disputes.

NWT residents can set up an appointment to see a family mediator by calling 1-866-217-8923. Additional information about family law, including legal forms and guides, is available at

For more information contact:

Megan Holsapple
Department of Justice
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 920-3130

Youth art project brings citation for Nunavut resident

Youth art project brings citation for Nunavut resident

26 April 2009

Beth McKenty moved to sparsely populated northeast Canada – to Iqaluit on Baffin Island – in 1999 to fulfill a pledge, made 45 years earlier, to devote part of her life to reducing youth suicide.

Within two weeks of arriving she had begun a project to help children build self-esteem by exploring their creativity. The Arctic Youth Art Initiative has since grown to involve hundreds of children.

Ms. McKenty's efforts were acknowledged this month when she was one of 75 individuals from across Canada named as recipients of the Caring Canadian Awards for 2009. Created in 1996 by the Canadian Governor General, the award is presented to individuals and groups whose unpaid, voluntary contributions over a number of years provide extraordinary help or care to people in their community.

It has been a long and often surprising road for Ms. McKenty from her birthplace of Snowflake, Manitoba, to Iqaluit, population 7,200 and the capital of the Nunavut territory. In addition to several decades in Wisconsin, where she worked as a freelance journalist and raised a family, she has lived in Japan, China, and Russia, and she has taught at the Navajo College at Tsaile, Arizona, in the United States.

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  • The young people are offered space and materials for their work, but Beth McKenty says she "never really instructed these children." (Photo copyright 2004… »

  • Beth McKenty, left, was nearly 70 years old when she started the art program a decade ago. (Photo copyright 2004 Nunatsiaq News. Used with permission.)

  • These works were created by Ooleepeeka Ipeelie and Seepoola Innuaraq during their participation in the Arctic Youth Art Initiative. (Photo courtesy the Baha'i… »

"I started out on a farm in Manitoba, one of seven children," she said. "My father was from pioneer stock and a veteran who served at Vimy Ridge. My mother, a nurse, was an Icelandic immigrant. We grew up in a home with an openness to the whole world.

"In 1954, my younger brother took his own life. One way I dealt with the anguish was to make a promise to myself that some day, somehow, I would do something to help reduce youth suicide."

It was the day of her brother's funeral that she first heard of the Baha'i Faith. As she learned of Baha'u'llah's world-embracing principle of unity, she felt it matched the values she had grown up with. A life of Baha'i activity has followed.

"I was so busy and the years went by, but my plan always included fulfilling my promise to my brother," she said. "Then in 1999, two things happened simultaneously. I read that the rate of youth suicide in newly formed Nunavut was seven times the Canadian average. Around the same time, I attended the Baha'i National Convention in Montreal where I learned of opportunities for service in the Arctic. Here was my chance."

By October, she had moved into Baha'i House in Iqaluit, located on the Arctic tundra not too far south of the Arctic circle.

'I came with a purpose'

"I came with a purpose but didn't have a method," she said. "Earlier, I had had my own artist's studio for two years and had brought my paints with me to Iqaluit. Two weeks after getting there, I heard some strange sounds and discovered two boys trying to throw stones over the house, but missing. I opened the door and asked if they'd like to come in for hot chocolate.

"Since I'd been painting, I asked them if they would like to paint, too. I explained that with red, yellow, and blue they could mix any color except white. They were shy but accepted. I was astounded at what they could paint. Their work was so northern. The wonderful heritage of the Inuit was evident in these children. They returned later with one or two friends. That's how this project began.

"I never really instructed these children. I just facilitated by providing a space and good quality materials. In addition to the painting, the children enjoy games, prizes, lunch, and occasional 'multiple' birthday parties."

Although located in Baha'i House, the project is separate from Baha'i gatherings and is offered as a service to the community. Little by little, a special format developed with greeting time followed by preparation of palettes, brushes, paper, and paint for each child.

"I soon learned," Ms. McKenty recalled, "that it matters to give exactly the same amount of materials to each child as they intently watch the preparation. I ask for six or seven minutes of silence at the beginning of painting. I've learned talking disturbs the creative moment. Often, silence continues a long time as the young artists become absorbed in what they are creating."

Saturday morning sessions

Gradually more children came, bringing their friends. Today, the Saturday morning workshops still average five to 20 participants, from 4 to 14 years of age.

"There are many benefits to the project beyond the art," Ms. McKenty said. "It is also important that children make friends here. A child who has been very unpopular with others can produce something unusual or very beautiful. This changes the others' feelings and the child's sense of worth.

"I can't say for sure that as an adult they won't take their lives, but I know there is much less chance of it if they have become proud of their work, give and receive praise, and learn more about human relationships.

"My experience shows me that every human being is an artist. When we recognize it, it helps inform us about our own soul."

The Arctic Youth Art Initiative has steadily expanded, including visits to schools. With the support of other individuals and organizations, workshops have been held in eight other settlements in Nunavut, including the two most northerly, Resolute and Grise Fiord. Participants' work has been shown in the Nunavut Legislature, in Iqaluit's Nunatta Sanukkataangit Museum, as well as the Glenbow Museum in Calgary and the Marion Scott Inuit Art Gallery in Vancouver.

This summer, two especially gifted young artists are being given two weeks of individual instruction and visits to galleries and museums by the Ottawa School of Art, in recognition of the eight years they have regularly come to the workshops.

"Life is so rich for me as a Baha'i," said Ms. McKenty. "I have learned to look at each human being, quite literally, as family. My hope is that this is part of what children feel here, that we are really united in what we are doing, that I am not a teacher from a different place, just a friend.

"It was overwhelming to me, returning two years ago from the funeral of my son Jack Jr. in Los Angeles, to answer the doorbell and find an enormous basket of orchids and lilies delivered with a note from 'your friends, the taxi drivers of Iqaluit.' Although this project is aimed at children, apparently it has reached other hearts, and my own continues to be educated by this privilege of living and working in Iqaluit."

Editor's note: This article was first published by the Canadian Baha'i News Service.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Environment Canada forced to reveal full extent of pollution from mines

Environment Canada forced to reveal full extent of pollution from mines

Court ruling considered major victory for green organizations

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Mining companies have long had a loophole in federal environmental right-to-know law that no other industry enjoys. Environment Canada has exempted them from having to track the full extent of the pollution their operations cause.

But a Federal Court ruling issued on Thursday will force Environment Canada to collect from the industry and divulge to the public the amount of toxic compounds in tailings and waste rocks found around every mine in the country.

It is a major victory for environmental organizations that have been pressing Ottawa for more than 16 years to have this information disclosed.

Environmentalists believe that when Ottawa releases the information, it will show that mining waste is the single largest source of industrial pollution in the country. The material is often laced with such hazardous compounds as arsenic and mercury, and if the rocks contain sulphur, is capable of creating sulphuric acid.

"The amount of pollution reporting by these mines is just going to be astronomical," predicted Justin Duncan, lawyer with Ecojustice, a public interest legal group that brought the case against the government on behalf of Great Lakes United and Mining Watch Canada, two environmental organizations.

U.S. mines have had to reveal this information for the past decade, and while they account for less than 1 per cent of industrial facilities, the sector is the source of nearly a quarter of all pollution in the United States, Mr. Duncan said.

Environmentalists say the lack of reporting from the mining sector has skewed federal pollution data and made the industry look cleaner than it actually is.

The ruling requires Environment Canada to make public mining pollution for annual periods starting with information from 2006.

Environment Canada said in a statement that it "will carefully examine the court's decision to determine what steps will be taken next."

Under federal rules, all major companies must publicly disclose to Environment Canada the amount of harmful substances their activity releases into the environment each year.

This information is then made available on a database known as the National Pollutant Release Inventory. Data posted on NPRI is easy for the public to see because it can be accessed over the Internet.

The mining industry doesn't object in principle to revealing its pollution information, but doesn't believe the NPRI is the proper place for the disclosure, said Maggie Papoulias, spokesperson for the Mining Association of Canada. She said the trade group is reviewing the ruling.

According to information provided in the court case, Environment Canada exempted the industry from disclosure requirements because it viewed waste mining material as held in storage and potentially available for further mineral extraction. In this view, the wastes weren't technically released into the environment.

Currently, tailings, the material left over when ore is ground up, are usually dumped in specially constructed ponds, and waste rock is piled around mine sites.

Martin Mittelstaedt is The Globe's Environment Reporter

GNWT and UNW Reach Tentative Agreement - GNWT and UNW Reach Tentative Agreement - Business ...
If ratified, the new collective agreement will be effective April 1, 2009
and will apply to the almost 4000 UNW members employed by the Government of
the Northwest Territories (GNWT) across the Northwest Territories (NWT),

If ratified, the new collective agreement will be effective April 1, 2009
and will apply to the almost 4000 UNW members employed by the Government
of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) across the Northwest Territories
(NWT), as well as employees with the Workers' Safety and Compensation
Commission in the NWT and Nunavut.

UNW President Todd Parsons said, "I am pleased that we have been able to
come to a tentative agreement with the GNWT for our members. The Union's
bargaining team will be recommending ratification of this agreement."

Debbie DeLancey, Deputy Minister of Human Resources, welcomed the new
agreement. "Together we have taken big steps to balance both our needs,
including making administration of the agreement clearer and simpler. We
are very pleased that an agreement has been reached."

Both parties will be sending the tentative agreement for ratification.

For more information contact:

Todd Parsons
Union of Northern Workers
Tel: (867) 873-5668

Debbie DeLancey
Deputy Minister
Department of Human Resources
Tel: (867) 873-7187

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Pangnirtung, NUNAVUT: Diana Kilabuk protesting at Health Department

A very peaceful protest. But Virginia Turner laughed at her sign and called the RCMP to get her kicked out of the building.

Health Executive walks past protestor and ignores her.
Diana Kilabuk protesting with Heather ignoring her.

Friday, 24 April 2009

"Nunavummiut face some of the most desperate poverty in North America."

John Hasyn Photography
An updated version of the previous movie by the same name. This is a work-in-progress photography project on Nunavut and the Canadian Inuit. (Rankin Inlet & Iqaluit)

Nunavut - [The Serenity of Nature video collection Channel ...
By Throbbin (
Nunavummiut (people from Nunavut) face some of the most desperate poverty in North America. The suicide rate among young Inuit men is 11 times Canada's national average. Our culture and language (Inuktitut) is under constant threat of ...
Latest Nature Videos Sifted at...

posted by Throbbin 2 weeks 1 day ago • 212 views

Caring for caribou is a matter of urgency By Dr. David Suzuki with Dr. Faisal Moola

Caring for caribou is a matter of urgency

By Dr. David Suzuki with Dr. Faisal Moola

You may have a caribou in your pocket. This important Canadian icon has appeared on our 25-cent coin since 1936. It would be a tragedy if this were the only place you could spot this magnificent animal, though.

If we don't protect Canada's boreal forest, that could be the result. The boreal forest extends like a green halo over 35 per cent of our northern land mass. Stretching from Newfoundland to the Yukon, it forms the largest uninterrupted intact forest left on the planet.


Caribou are not only well-loved symbols of Canada's identity and a source of national pride; they are also a key indicator of the health of boreal forest ecosystems. When woodland caribou populations start to decline, it's a sure sign that the forests they inhabit are not faring well. A recent scientific report commissioned by the federal government under the Species at Risk Act has found that the animal is in trouble right across the country.

This doesn't bode well for the ecological health of the boreal region.


Here are a few links if you would like to learn more about the David Suzuki Foundation and caribou:

Take David Suzuki's Nature Challenge and learn more at

Information about boreal woodland caribou:

Caribou Science Report:

Analysis of the Caribou Science Report:

Stats Can Retail sales for Northwest Territories & Nunavut

The Daily, Thursday, April 23, 2009. 

January to February 2009 % change
Northwest Territories             -2.1
Nunavut                                    0.4
February 2008 to February 2009 % change
Northwest Territories           -12.0
Nunavut                                    3.2

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Liz Hargreaves: Back to Yellowknife,

Off to Yellowknife, will say goodbye at BCIT Industry Night ...
By Liz
Finally my year in the New Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology is over and I am preparing for.

In Yellowknife, language rights go back on the menu

In Yellowknife, language rights go back on the menu
Globe and Mail - Canada
In taking on the chef who runs the famed Wildcat Cafe, Yellowknife's city council appears to have concocted a recipe for bringing Quebec-style language ...


From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

In taking on the chef who runs the famed Wildcat Cafe, Yellowknife's city council appears to have concocted a recipe for bringing Quebec-style language politics to the Northwest Territories. In the process, it has given us the basis for a constitutional crise du jour.

The iconic eatery in Yellowknife's Old Town sports a log cabin veneer, rough wooden benches and floors, and a pedigree that harks back to the 1930s prospectors who founded it and the miners and bush pilots who made it a frontier landmark. The building was designated a heritage site in the early 1990s and it has been leased out by a municipal committee to licensed operators since reopening as a popular tourist destination in the late 1970s.

Le Wildcat Cafe, as it's now known, is currently run by a Quebec-born restaurateur. It serves up a northern repertoire of muskox sirloin, caribou burgers and, from personal experience, the best arctic char this side of anywhere. But the great northern food and ambience have been eclipsed by a language feud that brings the Constitution into play. It all turns on the French article "Le," which has been added to the historic name. The Yellowknife council wants it banished.

The chef's argument, as quoted in the news media, is that the council's demand amounts to discrimination. The council contends that it is merely out to do its duty in protecting the heritage of the site and of the region.

If the entire controversy seems to make a mountain out of the smallest mole hill, no one should underestimate the heights of constitutional theory that a certain other jurisdiction's linguistic battles have made us scale. Montrealers, or at least those over 30, will still recall the vanishing possessive on Eaton's stores in the 1980s, mandated by the ruthless Office québécois de la langue française as part of its rooting out of all things English on commercial signs under the infamous Bill 101.

When Quebec's sign law finally made it to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1988, the court had the opportunity to weigh two arguments - one by the challengers, disgruntled shopkeepers who felt unfairly targeted by this early Parti Québécois legislation, and another by the provincial government, which felt the need to preserve what it called the visage linguistique of the province.


Giant Mine widows' date with the Supremes

The widows of nine miners who were killed 16 years ago in an explosion at the Giant Mine near Yellowknife will also have their day in the Supreme Court in May.

They are appealing a Northwest Territories Court of Appeal decision, which overturned an earlier decision ordering the mine's owner, Royal Oak Ventures, and three other parties, to pay $10.7 million in compensation for the wrongful death of their spouses in the fatal blast.

Roger Warren, the miner who planted the bomb, was convicted in 1995 of nine counts of first-degree murder and is currently serving a life sentence.

The Great Northern Canada Writing Contest 2009

The Great Northern Canada

 Writing Contest 2009

To enter, submit a piece of prose (fiction or non-fiction) up to 1,000 words about life in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik or Northern Labrador.

First Prize is $500 and publication in above&beyond magazine.

Special Emerging Writer Prizeof $250, and publication in above&beyond magazine. This is for writers who have never been published for payment. To qualify, identify yourself as an "emerging writer" on the cover sheet you submit with your entry.

Entries should be typed and double-spaced with the title (but not your name) on each numbered page. Submit a separate cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, email address, word count, and indicate if your story is fiction or non-fiction.


Mail entries to:

Great Northern Canada Writing Contest

Box 1256,

Yellowknife NT X1A 2N9


Deadline for entries: April 30, 2009


Winners will be announced at the NorthWords Writers Festival June 11- 14, 2008, in Yellowknife.

Previously published entries (and that includes publication on the Internet in any format) are not eligible.

The following are ineligible: Current and past (after 2003) contributors to above&beyond and their families, organizers and paid participants of the NorthWords Writers Festival and their families.

Grande Prairie, Alberta: Three from NWT charged in robbery

Four charged in robbery
Alberta Daily Herald Tribune - Grande Prairie,Alberta,Canada
Four individuals – one from Grimshaw and three from the Northwest
Territories – have been charged with robbery, following a police
investigation of a ...

Four individuals – one from Grimshaw and three from the Northwest Territories – have been charged with robbery, following a police investigation of a robbery at the Mile Zero Motor Inn in Grimshaw.

Police say the incident occurred just after midnight, April 15, when two men in masks went in demanding whatever cash the night clerk had on hand. The clerk complied and the masked men made off with the money on foot.

It has not been disclosed what amount was taken.

One of the suspects in this incident was identified by a responding patrol unit from the Grimshaw RCMP detachment, and police say investigation from there revealed individuals beyond the two who committed the robbery were involved in its planning.

Michael Jeremiah McArdady, 24 and of Grimshaw, Leonard Archie Bourke, 28 and of Fort Smith, Sheldon Fred Charlie Charney, 25 and of Fort Good Hope and Valerie Julie Theriault, 31 and of Yellowknife, were charged in connection to the incident.

All four individuals are scheduled to appear in Peace River provincial court today.

Nunavut's infant mortality rate highest in Canada

Nunavut's infant mortality rate highest in Canada
Northern News Services (subscription) - Yellowknife,Northwest Territories,Canada
While Nunavut has the highest infant mortality rate in the country, almost
twice the national average, the territory's health minister conveys
optimism when ...

New Zealand lolly in bad taste, Inuit tourist says

Eskimo lollies to remain
Newstalk ZB - New Zealand
The makers of Eskimo lollies will not be making any changes, despite complaints from a Canadian tourist. Inuit Seeka Parsons has complained about the name ...

New Zealand lolly in bad taste, Inuit tourist says
Earthtimes (press release) - London,UK
Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons, 21, an Inuit from Canada's Nunavut Territory, told the Taranaki Daily News that the word Eskimo, used by confectionery

'Arctic exile' monuments to strengthen Canadian sovereignty claim

'Arctic exile' monuments to strengthen Canadian sovereignty claim - Don Mills,Ontario,Canada
... in the North — Nunavut's land claims agency has announced plans to erect monuments to honour the sacrifice of these "Arctic exiles" and ironically, ...

"...More than a half-century after the controversial relocation of nearly 100 Inuit from northern Quebec and Baffin Island to two extremely remote sites in the High Arctic — a move partly aimed at bolstering Canadian sovereignty in the North — Nunavut's land claims agency has announced plans to erect monuments to honour the sacrifice of these "Arctic exiles" and ironically, to strengthen Canada's hold on the region.

"At a time when Canadian sovereignty is on the minds of politicians around the world, the media, and opportunistic businesses that look forward to an ice-free Northwest Passage," said James Eetoolook, vice-president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., "there is no better time to issue this reminder: this land belongs to Canada not because of the lines drawn on a map, but because of the Inuit who sacrificed everything to live here."

The historic markers are to be designed by leading Inuit artists from the two relocation communities — Resolute Bay's Simeonie Amagoalik and Grise Fiord's Looty Pijamini — and unveiled at the Cornwallis Island and Ellesmere Island outposts in September.

The monuments — a sculptured male figure in one community and a sculptured female in the other — are intended to symbolize the painful separation some families endured as a result of the relocation, which eventually led the federal government to create a $10-million compensation trust fund for the families in 1996...."

Eskimo lollies slammed as racist by Canadian tourist

Eskimo lollies slammed as racist by Canadian tourist
3 News NZ - Auckland,New Zealand
Some of New Zealand's most popular and iconic treats have been labelled racist by a Canadian tourist. Seeka Parsons is in on holiday in New Zealand and was ...

"... She says the names of Eskimo lollies and Eskimo Pie are insulting, and she is taking her complaint to the Canadian government and Inuit elders.

After discovering the two kiwi favourites, Ms Parsons is now trying to put pressure on the manufacturers of both products, Cadbury, Pascalls and Tip Top.

"I just think we deserve respect," she says. "Stand up and make a change."

Ms Parsons has sent some of the Eskimo lollies to the Canadian Prime Minister and her grandfather who is an Inuit elder..."

Chef's French flair serves up 'scandale' in Yellowknife

Chef's French flair serves up 'scandale' in Yellowknife
Globe and Mail - Canada
"There was a lot of community input about this," said Grant White,
Yellowknife's director of community services and a member of the Wildcat
Cafe advisory ...

Monday, 20 April 2009

Botswana Reduces Diamond Production

Botswana Reduces Diamond Production
April 20, 2009 | BBC News

Debswana, jointly owned by the Botswana government and De Beers, said it would produce 15 million carats of diamonds, against 33.6 million carats last year.

It came after state diamond trading firm DTCB said it could only sell between 18 and 20 million carats.

In February, Debswana had said it would close two mines for the rest of 2009.

"If there are indications that demand will improve quickly, then we will increase production," said DTCB corporate affairs manager Esther Kanaimba.

She said there was some inventory left from poor sales in November and December last year.

DTCB was set up in 2008 by Botswana's former president, Festus Mogae, in a move designed to boost local business and create jobs.

The mining industry in Botswana has cut 4,500 jobs as global demand for diamonds has fallen. Debswana produces close to a quarter of the world's output.

Friday, 17 April 2009

New Website: Freeze Frame - Historic Polar Images, 1845-1982 from the Scott Polar Research Institute

Freeze Frame:
Historic Polar Images, 1845-1982 from the Scott Polar Research Institute

The Scott Polar Research Institute in the University of Cambridge holds a world-class collection of photographic negatives illustrating polar exploration from the nineteenth century onwards. Freeze Frame, launched March 4, 2009, is the result of a two-year digitisation project that brings together over 20,000 of these photographs from both Arctic and Antarctic expeditions and makes these photographs accessible online. Here you can discover the polar regions through the eyes of those explorers and scientists who dared to go into the last great wildernesses on earth.

Detailed catalogue entries are provided for each image. All image captions are taken from original sources, where known. In digitising this resource the Scott Polar Research Institute has enabled browsing through the collection by date, expedition or photographer, or searching the content directly.

The Freeze Frame project is funded as part of the JISC Digitisation programme and is hosted by the University of Cambridge in collaboration with DSpace@Cambridge. All images on the website are also available to purchase. For more information, please visit the website or contact

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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Arctic Ice Got Smaller, Thinner, Younger This Winter

Arctic Ice Got Smaller, Thinner, Younger This Winter

Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
April 6, 2009

Turns out there is such a thing as being too young and too thin.


Arctic ice continued its decline this winter, with hardy, thicker old ice increasingly being replaced with quick-to-melt, thinner young ice, according to a new report by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

This winter's maximum Arctic sea ice extent was 5.85 million square miles (15,150,000 square kilometers)—about 278,000 square miles (720,000 square kilometers) less than the Arctic average between 1979 and 2000.

"That's a loss about the size of the state of Texas," said Walter Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.

"We used to have a winter ice maximum about twice the size of the lower 48 United States," Meier added.

This year's ice cover was not a record low, but it did continue a dubious streak. The past six years (2004-09) have seen the least Arctic ice at the time of maximum cover, in winter, since satellite records began in 1979.

Young and Thin

Ice a year or more old—thicker, hardier, and less prone to melting than younger ice—was at an all-time low at the end of this past winter, the new report says.

Ice older than two years once accounted for some 30 to 40 percent of the Arctic's wintertime cover and made up 25 percent as recently as 2007.

But last year it represented only 14 percent of the maximum. This year the figure fell to 10 percent.

The team did report one ray of hope. In winter 2008-09, more new ice (in this case from winter 2007-08) had survived the summer than in years past.

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) Due to high demand, the NTI current staff listing and contact information has been added to the website.

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI)

NTI staff contact information added

Posted on | April 15, 2009

Due to high demand, the NTI current staff listing and contact information has been added to the website.

Staff Listing


Office of the President

Paul Kaludjak President 975-4900
Joanasie Akumalik Executive Assistant/President 975-4927
Maggie Qappik Executive Secretary/President-CEO 975-4941


Joe Adla Kunuk Chief Executive Officer 975-4900 jkunuk
Malaya Mikijuk Executive Assistant/CEO 975-4907
Dianna Crooks Board Registrar 975-4911
Jeannie Maniapik Board Registar Goverance Trainee 975-4919
Alastair Campbell Senior Policy & Planning Advisor 975-4909
Sandy Kownak Senior Policy Analyst 975-4906
Andrew Dunford Environment Policy Advisor 975-4936
Debbie Baker Beneficiary Programs Administrator 975-4952
Nuqlu Hess Office Coordinator 975-4900


David Kunuk Director 975-4908
Bruce Uviluq Assistant Director 975-4925
Seemie Attagutsiak Project Manager 975-4918
Ralph Kownak Project  Analyst 975-4916
Steven Lonsdale Policy Analyst 975-4933
Bernice Reist Implementation Monitoring Administration 975-4917

Business & Economic Development

Monica Ell Director 975-4932
Brad Hickes Manager 975-4965
Madeleine Allkariallak Policy Advisor 975-4964
Sarah Maniapik Business Development Officer 975-4966


Veronica Dewar Acting/Director 975-4914
Franco Buscemi Assistant Director 975-4939
Nina Manning Toonoo Interpreter/Translator 975-4946
Billie Jo Barnes Communication Manager 975-4905
Emily Woods Writer/Editer 975-4953
Jonny Issaluk Communication Officer 975-4935


Arthur Yuan Director 975-4913
Sandra Omik Legal Councel 975-4912
Hannah Idlaut Records Coordinator 975-4902

Social & Cultural Development

Natan Obed Director 975-4962
Virginia Lloyd Assistant Director 975-4928
Pierre Lecomte Health Integration Intitaitive 975-4929
Dennis Kugluguqtuq Policy Analyst-Justice 975-4960
Vacant Policy Analyst Health 975-4928
Navarana Beveridge Policy Analyst Language and Education 975-4956
Jeannie Arreak-Kullualik Policy Analyst Housing 975-4959
Jesse Mike Youth Coordinator 975-4930
Pauloosie Akeeagok Special Project Coordinator 975-4957
Jenna Rintoul Community Wellness Coordinator 975-4904
Laakuluk Williamson Senior Advisor on Social Affairs/MAT LEAVE 975-4969
Martha Nowdlak AHHRI- Coodinator 975-4968
Stephanie McDonald Health Research Analyst 975-4951
Sheila Kilabuk Administration Clerk 975-4923
Annie Quirke Exevutive Director-NDMS 979-2218


Glen Williams Wildlife Advisor 975-4924
Paul Irngaut Wildlife Advisor 975-4915
Jeff Maurice Fisheries Advisor 975-4934


Hanson Udluriak Executive Director 613-238-1096
Merritt, John Constitutional/Legisla Advisor 613-238-1096
Pelly, Laurie Legal Advisor 613-238-1096
David Lee Wildlife Biologist 613-238-1096

Cambridge Bay

James Eetoolook 1st Vice President 983-5601
Joe Ohokannoak Executive Assistant 983-5602
Carson Gillis Director-Lands 983-5602
Jorgan Aitaok Manager, Mineral Agreements & Promotions 983-5603
Jeannie Ehaloak Environment Coordinator 983-5618
Robert Esser Sr. Advisor Lands Admin Planning & management 983-5617
George Hakongak Sr. Advisor Water/Marine, Environement 983-5616
Migual Chenier GIS Technician 983-5614
Morrison, Keith Sr. Advisor, Minerals, Oil & Gas 983-5615
Junna Ehaloak Office Coordinator 983-5616

Rankin Inlet

Raymond Ningeocheak Vice Present Finance 645-5405
Donna Adams Executive Assistant VP 645-5410
Annie Tattuinee Chief Operating Officer 645-5436
Klaas Degroot Director of Finance 645-5438
Margaret Yarema Assistant Director of Finance 645-5437
Sharon Sateana Sr.Payroll Clerk 645-5440
Lucy Ningeocheak N.H.S.P Finance Administrator 645-5409
Edith Brown Finance Officer 645-5422
Amy Kaludjak Finance Officer 645-5402
Tracey Lindell Finance Officer 645-5439
Mary Kasaluak Finance Clerk 645-5404
Margaret Brown Finance Clerk 645-5424
Jennifer Oolooyuk Finance Clerk 645-5441
Corinne Pilakapsi Finance Clerk 645-5406
Aliisa Autut Controller 645-5420
Jane Aupaluktuq Director of Human Resources 645-5412
Danny Autut Human Resources Manager 645-5403
Sarah Flynn N.H.S.P. Manager 645-5426
Norman Okalik N.H.S.P Casusal 645-5419
Lucy Arnarauyak N.H.S.P Program Coordinator 645-5419
Germaine Tatty Assistant / Human Resources 645-5411
Martha Hickes Human Resources 645-5417
Margaret Kusugak Enrolment Administrator 645-5416
Mary Tatty Beneficiary Programs Administrator 645-5401
Silu Connelly Elders Benefits Plan 645-5408
James Sandy Manager Information System 645-5442
Bert Dean Associate Director Wildlife 645-5425
Gabriel Nirlungayuk Director of Wildlife 645-5435
Ann Makpah Nineongan Program Coordinator 645-5421
Debbie Baker Office Coordinator 645-5400

Nunavut Development of Suicide Prevention Strategy

Discussion Paper Released to Engage Nunavummiut on Development of Suicide Prevention Strategy

Released | April 14, 2009 |

IQALUIT, Nunavut (April 14, 2009) - Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Isaksimagit Inuusirmi Katujjiqatigiit (Embrace Life Council) and the Government of Nunavut today released a discussion paper entitled Using knowledge and experience as a foundation for action: A discussion paper on suicide prevention in Nunavut.  The discussion paper is the first step in gathering feedback and input from Nunavummiut on what should be included in a single, comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.

The discussion paper shares what the Working Group has learned about why some people develop suicidal behaviour, and about what has been found to be effective in reducing the number of deaths that occur as a result of suicidal behaviour.

In addition to the text, the discussion papers has three appendices: the first presents statistics on deaths by suicide in Nunavut from 1960 to 2008, the second presents an overview of suicide prevention and intervention training courses delivered in Nunavut from 1994 to the present, and the third summarizes what the Working Group has learned about suicidal behaviour in Nunavut.

Based on research and discussions, the Working Group presents the following possible actions that may be included in a suicide prevention strategy for Nunavut include:

  • The territorial government could take a more focused and active approach to suicide prevention.
  • Youth - our most at-risk group - could be equipped with better skills to cope with adverse life events and negative emotions, and suicide alertness skills as well.
  • More Nunavummiut could become 'mental health intervenors', equipped with the skills to identify people at risk - and to connect them with the supports and services they need.
  • Counseling and mental health care services could be strengthened.
  • Community-based groups and initiatives could be given greater support.
  • Nunavummiut could be provided with more information relevant to suicide prevention.
  • We could learn more about many aspects of, and issues impacting on, suicidal behaviour in Nunavut - and what we can do to build resilience in our families.

The discussion paper is available on the GN and NTI websites, and from the following members of the Working Group:

Natan Obed Jesse Mike Jack Hicks
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Embrace Life Council Government of Nunavut

For further information:

Emily Woods
A/Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4900 Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006

NR 09-05 SPS ENG Suicide Prevention Strategy (pdf)

Rosalind Skinner (Northwest Territories) wins Financial Fitness Challenge

CSA announces winners of Financial Fitness Challenge

Website increases financial literacy among youth

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Twelve young Canadians have demonstrated their financial savvy and won scholarships of $750 after participating in the Canadian Securities Administrator (CSA) "Financial Fitness Challenge".

"As securities regulators, we appreciate the importance of financial literacy and are committed to improving that particular skill in young Canadians" says CSA Chairman Jean St-Gelais. "It is encouraging that youth are interested in enhancing their money management, savings and investment skills, especially at an age when many start earning and handling their own money".

From Feb. 2 to 28, the CSA invited Canadians aged 15 to 21 to take part in an interactive online challenge in order to learn more about the importance of saving and investing money for the future.

The website,, received 37,970 visits from youth who used the educational games, tips and interactive activities. The online quiz was successfully answered by 13,702 youth who entered for a chance to win a scholarship.

While only 30% of participants surveyed were very interested in personal finance before completing the CSA's online challenge, 62% said they were very interested in personal finance after completing the challenge. More than 90% of participants indicated that they now know more about how to budget, save and invest and 95% indicated that they now have some ideas on how to be financially healthy.

The winners each won a $750 scholarship for demonstrating their financial fitness savvy. They are:

> Michael Stannard (British Columbia);
> Brenna Lyanne Toth (Alberta);
> Amanda Abbott (Saskatchewan);
> Jennifer Froese (Manitoba);
> Shelby Davies (Ontario);
> Karen Benzaquen (Quebec);
> Rosalinda Kan (New Brunswick);
> Jasmine Emily Hare (Nova Scotia);
> Isaac Williams (Prince Edward Island);
> Amanda Hewlett (Newfoundland and Labrador);
> Rosalind Skinner (Northwest Territories); and
> Denis Godin (Yukon).

Although the Financial Fitness Challenge for 2009 is over, the website is accessible year-round.

Pope will reach out to natives in Canada

Pope will reach out to natives in Canada

Plans to express regret for abuses in schools
Apr 15, 2009 04:30 AM


Pope Benedict XVI will express regret to Canada's aboriginal peoples this
month for the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the abuse of thousands
of children in residential schools, says the leader of the Assembly of
First Nations.

"We're expecting a clear statement from the Pope recognizing the suffering
of the aboriginal people of Canada and the role of the Catholic Church in
that suffering," assembly chief Phil Fontaine told La Presse yesterday.
"This will be a historic moment for aboriginals, survivors of residential
schools, and for Canadian society."

It is unknown whether the Pope will issue a formal apology, however, said
a spokesperson for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"We know the Pope will produce a text in which he will express his
solicitude, recognize what has occurred and manifest regret," Gérald Baril

Fontaine, himself a survivor of abuse at two residential schools, will
lead an aboriginal delegation to Rome for an audience with the Pope on
April 29. He expects the pontiff to issue a public statement after the
meeting, which will also include a number of Canadian bishops.

"The relationship between the First Nations of Canada and the Catholic
Church has been stained by the actions of the past. This meeting with the
Pope will allow the process of reconciliation to begin," Fontaine said.

An estimated 150,000 aboriginal children were forced into Canada's Indian
residential schools between 1920 and the 1970s, and many were subjected to
physical and sexual abuse.

Nearly three-quarters of the schools were run by Catholic Church
missionary congregations.

The United, Anglican and Presbyterian churches have apologized for their
roles in the abuse. Last June, the Canadian government apologized for the
residential schools system, and for the policy of aggressive assimilation
that they represented.

Radio Jobs Postings at NCRA.CA

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Subject: [ncralist] Jobs Postings at NCRA.CA
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Date: Wed, April 15, 2009 05:46

The following jobs openings have been posted at

Location: Winnipeg, MB
Closing Date: 17 April, 2009

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Posted: 4 April, 2009

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Location: Vancouver, BC
Closing Date: 17 April, 2009

You can view the complete posting at:

Posted: 6 April, 2009

CJSW Radio
Location: Calgary, AB
Closing Date: 27 April, 2009

You can view the complete posting at:

Posted: 1 April, 2009

CJSW Radio
Location: Calgary, AB
Closing Date: 27 April, 2009

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CJSW Radio
Location: Calgary, AB
Closing Date: 27 April, 2009

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CJSW Radio
Location: Calgary, AB
Closing Date: 27 April, 2009

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Closing Date: 27 April, 2009

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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

New Publication: The Arctic Whaling Journals of William Scoresby the Younger, vol. 2


From: Ian Jackson []
New Publication:
C. Ian Jackson, ed. The Arctic Whaling Journals of William Scoresby the Younger (1789–1857). Volume II: The Voyages of 1814, 1815 and 1816. Hakluyt Society, 2008. Third Series: 20. 346pp. Includes 8 b&w illustrations and 3 maps.
This second volume of William Scoresby's journals contains the unpublished accounts of his three voyages in the Esk in 1814–16. As before, these lengthy journals combine scientific records and social and religious comment as well as detailed descriptions of navigation and whaling. They also continue to demonstrate the competence and confidence of Scoresby which were evident from the moment he assumed command of the Resolution in 1811. However, each of the journals also shows the dangers inherent in what might otherwise seem to be routine annual sailings to the Greenland Sea in latitudes 78° to 80° N. The dangers were not merely those of besetment and damage by the ice where the bowhead whales had to be sought, nor of the persistent fog and frequent gales characteristic of these icy seas; human error and even stupidity could be equally disastrous. In 1814, the Esk was caught in the tidal current of the Sumburgh Röst and nearly wrecked before she even reached Shetland on her outward voyage. The journal for 1815 also contains a graphic description of the destruction by fire of the Hull whaler Clapham, regarded by Scoresby as 'the finest ship that ever engaged in the [whale] fishing trade.'

For high drama, and Scoresby's crisis management and seamanship, however, the 1816 journal is outstanding. When part of the Esk's hull was torn off by ice in latitude 78° N on 29 June, various methods of repair were tried without success, including a drastic attempt to invert the empty ship in the sea at the ice-edge. Scoresby's ability to return the Esk safely to Whitby on 26 July, with only the floorboards of the hold keeping the leakage to a manageable rate, still seems as incredible now as it was to the crews of the other whaling ships who had eagerly anticipated plundering an abandoned ship in the Arctic.

In addition to the journals and the editor's introduction, this volume also contains a unique 'second view' of the 1814 voyage: the journal kept by a young supernumerary, Charles Steward, and an appendix by George Huxtable, FRIN, on Scoresby's navigation methods.
Contents: Preface; Introduction: The voyages; Charles Steward; Scoresby's personal and religious development; Scoresby the scientist; Conclusion. The Journals of William Scoresby the Younger and Charles Steward: Journal of 1814; Journal of Charles Steward of 1814; Journal of 1815; Journal of 1816; Appendix: Scoresby's Navigation, by George Huxtable; Works cited; Index.
About the Editor: Ian Jackson took part in the Canadian International Geophysical Year expedition to northern Ellesmere Island in 1957–58 and then taught at the London School of Economics and worked for the Canadian Government in Ottawa. He is a former Executive Director of Sigma Xi in New Haven, Connecticut, and is an Associate Fellow of Timothy Dwight College, Yale University. His publications include Letters from the 49th Parallel, 1857–1873 for the Champlain Society (Toronto, 2000). Volume I of the Scoresby journals appeared in 2003.

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