Sunday 17 April 2016

Historian Louie Kamookak Follows in the Footsteps of the Ill-Fated Franklin Expedition


Inuit Ancestral Stories come to Life 

Louie Kamookak, an Inuit historian who played a significant role in the 2014 discovery of HMS Erebus, the long-lost vessel of British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, is to lead a ground search using oral traditions to find the remains of that ill-fated expedition of 1845.

Missing: Sir John Franklin
In collaboration with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), polar cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), is honouring Mr Kamookak's enormous and continuing contribution to Canadian history by sponsoring the Humahuk Expedition in the summer of 2016, which will walk across the Arctic in the footsteps of his great grandmother's stories, in search of the remains of Sir John Franklin.

For more than three decades, Kamookak, from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, has been researching the Franklin expedition by spending time interviewing elders and collecting stories passed down through generations of Inuit about the location of the perilous and tragic expedition.  These compelling ancestral stories are now calling Kamookak back to the land to lead an expedition of his own.  The story is chilling yet inspiring as it reinforces the importance of Inuit oral traditions and their essential historic contribution for generations to come.

Louie Kamookak explains:  "For well over 30 years, I have been fascinated by the mystery of Sir John Franklin, and his fated expedition. This fascination, which has led to over a dozen expeditions in and around King William Island, was inspired by a story told to me by my late, great grandmother.  In her younger years, she shared with me that she had come upon artefacts and a grave, which she believed to be connected to the Franklin Expedition.  The drive to find these artefacts and grave, and connect my great grandmother's story with an answer to the great Canadian mystery, has since guided my work, and will serve as the inspiration for this expedition".

One Ocean Expeditions' Managing Director, Andrew Prossin, comments:  "OOEs' contribution to this historic land-based Humahuk Expedition this summer, in collaboration with the RCGS, is something we take great pride in.  It demonstrates our commitment to the Arctic and the preservation and sharing of Inuit culture".

He continues:  "OOE's support and involvement of cultural, environmental and scientific educational programmes is what we are all about.  The diversity of our programmes, our experience navigating the Arctic, combined with our staff knowledge and support of special initiatives, is what sets us apart".

One Ocean Expeditions' Canadian Arctic Expedition cruise season starts August 1st, 2016 with varied itineraries exploring Baffin Island, and the Northwest Passage.  Prices start at US$5195 per person.

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions' Arctic 2016/17 cruises please visit:

For more information on the Humahuk Expeditions please visit:

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