HMS Investigator and McClure’s Cache
Parks Canada Agency
The McClure’s Cache site is located within the boundaries of Aulavik National Park, while the wreck of HMS Investigator is located in the waters of Mercy Bay, just outside park boundaries. Parks Canada leads both terrestrial and marine surveys to search for the wreck, documents the land site and evaluates the potential for future archaeological excavations of the cache site and vessel.
Inuvialuit Community Members
The HMS Investigator story holds special significance in Inuvialuit history, specifically to the communities of Ulukhaktok and Sachs Harbour, whose ancestors travelled to the site of the wreck site during the second half of the 19th century. In keeping with their cultural traditions, the Inuvialuit residents have been guaranteed the right of continued subsistence trapping, hunting and fishing within the national park boundaries. The survey team included four Inuvialuit members, who played a pivotal role in the project’s planning and completion.
Air transport for the archaeological teams to Aulavik National Park and Mercy Bay was provided by the Polar Continental Shelf Program administered by Natural Resources Canada.
The sheer remoteness of the Canadian Arctic can make it an impenetrable and dangerous place in which to conduct research. Over the past 50 years, Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP) has made that task easier for hundreds of scientists from around the world. Each year, Polar Shelf provides ground and air support services to approximately 130 scientific groups from more than 40 Canadian and international universities or government agencies. Scientific projects using PCSP's services cover every discipline, from archaeology to space science to zoology. The support offered by PCSP includes transportation, communications, accommodation, field equipment and related services.
Parks Canada has engaged the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Sachs Harbour Hunters and Trappers Committee for their support in conducting community consultations and presentations.
The origin of the Inuvialuit Corporate Group, composed of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) and its subsidiary corporations, began with the signing of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement on June 5, 1984, between the Government of Canada and the Inuvialuit–Inuit of Canada's Western Arctic. The basic goals of the IFA as expressed by the Inuvialuit and recognized by Canada are to: preserve Inuvialuit cultural identity and values within a changing northern society; enable Inuvialuit to be equal and meaningful participants in the northern and national economy and society; and protect and preserve the Arctic wildlife. IRC was established with the overall responsibility of managing the affairs of the Settlement as outlined in the IFA. Its mandate is to continually improve the economic, social and cultural well-being of the Inuvialuit through implementation of the IFA and by all other available means.
Inuvialuit hunters and trappers are represented by a Hunters and Trappers Committee (HTC) in each of the six communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The HTCs are involved in a variety of business activities in the various Inuvialuit communities.
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) is the Government of the Northwest Territories’ museum and archives. The PWNHC acquires and manages objects and archival materials that represent the cultures and history of the Northwest Territories (NWT), plays a primary role in documenting and providing information about the cultures and history of the NWT, and provides professional museum, archives and cultural resource management services to partner organizations.
The PWNHC holds in trust for the public a large collection of objects that represent the peoples and cultures of the NWT, and produces exhibitions that tell stories about the land, people and history of the NWT. However, the PWNHC is "more than a museum". In addition to its exhibits, collections and conservation programs, the PWNHC houses the NWT Archives, provides technical, logistic and financial support to individuals and organizations involved in cultural activities and the arts, and authorizes archaeological studies in the NWT.
The underwater survey is subject to a NWT Archaeologists permit, administered by the PWNHC.