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Northwest Passage 100th Anniversary 2003-2006

In September 2003, Gjoa Haven celebrated the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen and his two year stay in our safe harbour during 1903-1905. Amundsen then sailed west and became the first mariner ever to navigate the Northwest Passage. Nunavut Tourism and Nunavut Government plan to celebrate the centenary of the Northwest Passage from 2003-2006 in our area.

On September 6th, 2003, the Norwegian Ambassador Ingvar Halvden and his wife Elizabeth visited Gjoa Haven to unveil a plaque commemorating Amundsenís historic voyage and the 100 year anniversary.

History of our area:

1847-1859 - Sir John Franklin and his ships the Erebus and Terror were frozen in ice near Gjoa Haven. Franklin and his 130 men perished nearby. The search for Franklin led to the first discovery of the Northwest Passage.

1903-1905 - Roald Amundsen wintered in Gjoa Haven for 2 years and then became the first mariner to sail through the Northwest Passage.

1920-1922 - Knud Rasmussen, a Greenlander traveled to Gjoa Haven on his epic journey of discovery.

A visit to Arctic Canada is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Photograph muskox, arctic fox, arctic tern, plover, snow geese, a variety of shorebirds and dozens of other arctic wildlife species in their native habitat. From May-August experience the 24-hr sun and its affect on your metabolism and internal clock. Travel on the treeless tundra by ATV, look for ringed seals or fish for arctic char in the Arctic Ocean.

Come visit Gjoa Haven in 2004. Our community of Gjoa Haven (marked with an X on the map below), is located 800 km above the treeline. It is fly-in only (as are all Nunavut communities) via Edmonton and Yellowknife.

Gjoa Haven is planning to host various activities during the summer of 2004 to help commemorate Amundsen's historic voyage.


Gjoa Haven Schedule of Events for 2004

May 8-15: Hamlet games, igloo building contests, dog-team races, bannock making contests, sled races, drum dancing, games and activities every night at our community center. All events are free and open to the public.

August 1-15: We start with a fishing derby sometime around Aug 1. Everyone is invited to try and catch the biggest char. Entry is free and cash prizes are paid for the biggest fish. Our local heritage center has traditional crafts and historic artifacts on display. Other local activities will be advertised as they are finalized.