In Norway, Aglukkaq visits Gjoa exhibit, promotes Arctic Council
“Amundsen’s story and this ship are very meaningful to me"
While in Oslo, Norway for the United Nations-linked Climate and Clean Air Coalition meeting, Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, who is also Canada’s environment minister and minister responsible for the Arctic Council and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, stopped by the Fram Museum Sept. 2 to praise Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen — and talk about Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship.
In June 2013, a new wing of the Fram Museum opened to house the Gjøa, the ship used by Amundsen to navigate the Northwest Passage in 1906.
Amundsen became trapped in the ice off King William Island, near the community now called Gjoa Haven. There, he and his crew spent two winters and developed a close relationship with the Netsilik Inuit.
“Amundsen’s story and this ship are very meaningful to me. I grew up in the small Arctic community of Gjoa Haven. My family lives there today, and I still call it home,” Aglukkaq said. “The traditional knowledge, expertise and cultures of the people living in the Arctic were critical to Amundsen’s success in reaching the South Pole in 1911. And I believe they will also be key to the future success of the Arctic region.”
Aglukkaq repeated her message that the overarching theme of the Arctic Council under Canada is “development for the people of the North,” that is, she said, responsible Arctic resource development, safe Arctic shipping and sustainable circumpolar communities.
“Very simply, Canada will put the interests of those who live in the Arctic first. During Canada’s chairmanship, the council program will include the creation of a circumpolar business forum, recommendations for incorporating traditional and local knowledge into its work, and the development of actions to address black carbon and methane emissions,” Aglukkaq said, referring to the goals of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition meeting.