People & Culture

Canoe expedition travelling 1,600 km from Saskatchewan to Nunavut

From boreal forest to the barren lands of the North, the Maskwa Nanook expedition aims to show Canada's remote landscapes to the world
  • Jul 25, 2016
  • 402 words
  • 2 minutes
maskwa nanook expedition paddling Expand Image

Uncovering the most remote parts of Canada by canoe seems like a mighty task, but it’s exactly the kind of thing Canadian adventurer Frank Wolf thrives on.

Wolf, along with fellow explorer Shawn Campbell, departed the Cree community of Lac La Ronge, Sask. on July 9 to mark the start of their 40 day Maskwa Nanook expedition supported by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The trip will take them across 1,600 kilometres of wilderness through Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nunavut, eventually coming to a close in the Inuit community of Arviat on the western shore of Hudson Bay. The resulting film will showcase these under-explored regions to the world.

The pair recently canoed across Reindeer Lake, and ventured through places they described as “the middle of nowhere, which is the only real somewhere up here in the north.” Two weeks into their trip, the duo have already faced severe thunderstorms and strong winds, but they paddle on.

“Maskwa is the Cree word for black bear, while Nanook is the Inuit word for polar bear. The expedition name represents the contrasts presented by our route as it travels from the thick boreal forest home of the black bear of central Saskatchewan to the barren lands home of the nanook in Arviat,” the group wrote on their Facebook page.

In 2015 Canadian Geographic named Wolf one of Canada’s greatest modern-day explorers for his track record as a wilderness adventurer (he was the first to canoe across Canada in a single season) but also for his prolific public communication about those adventures (He’s directed and produced 10 broadcast films and written over 40 published features about his expeditions, often with an environmental focus).

The group’s satellite dispatches, published almost daily to Facebook and Twitter, provide enticing snippets of life enroute. 

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