Native Village Youth and Education News
February 1, 2009 Issue 194 Volume 1

1909-2009 Peary Centennial Expedition
Homage to the Polar Inuit

On April 6, 1909, explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson along with a team of Inuit became the first men to reach the North Pole. Peary and his entourage of 23 men, 133 dogs, and 19 sleds set off from Ellesmere Island on a bitterly cold March 1, 1909.

As the men traveled farther and farther north, they lightened their loads and reduced the size of their party. Only six men, Peary, Henson, and four Polar Inuit, Oatah, Egingwah, Seegloo, and Ookeah, were left to step foot on the North Pole. For 80 years, skeptics disputed the claim. Although the Navigation Foundation upheld it in 1989, the controversy remains.

On February 17, 2009, polar explorer Lonnie Dupre, a team of Arctic explorers and Inuit companions will begin an epic 1,600-mile dog sled journey through the polar reaches of the high Arctic in the footsteps of Robert E. Peary and other explorers of his time.

The Peary Centennial Expedition is homage to the Inuit people, unsung heroes of countless Arctic expeditions, whose culture now hangs on the edge of existence due to the ravages of global warming and pollution.

A daily blog will be available from the website: http://www.pearycentennial.com/blog/index.php

Learn more: http://www.pearycentennial.com/

photo: www.pc.gc.ca/.

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