HMS Investigator / McClure's Cache and Paleoeskimo Site Survey
Meet Our Team
Protected within Parks Canada’s National Park system is a rich array of archaeological sites, reflecting the diversity of people and communities that travelled and lived on the land. Parks in the far north, such as Aulavik National Park, are no exception and evidence of human activity from the first aboriginal inhabitants to European arctic explorers survives on the surface throughout these vast landscapes. A place where aboriginal history and European exploration converge is Mercy Bay in Aulavik National Park, where Captain Robert McClure and HMS Investigator were stranded for two brutal winters; although the crew never met Inuit in the bay, what they left behind significantly influenced Inuit life. The Investigator story thus captivates not only the Canadian and European imagination but also holds special significance in the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic.
The 2011 archaeological survey in Aulavik National Park will occur from July 10 – July 25, 2011 and will take a multidisciplinary approach to the site’s investigation including, underwater archaeology surveys, terrestrial archaeology methods, geophysics, digital survey, and documentary history. The expertise to conduct this comprehensive work comes from the team of Parks Canada archaeologists, and has included research and input from the University of Western Ontario and Memorial University. The team is also fortunate to use the important resources of its Inuvialuit members, who are playing a pivotal role in the project’s planning and completion.
Photo of Marc-Andre Bernier© Parks Canada
My name is MARC-ANDRÉ BERNIER and I was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario. Growing up, I always had a huge interest in history and archaeology and I eventually completed a B.A. in Classical Studies and a M.A. in Greek Archaeology, both at the University of Ottawa. I had the opportunity to participate in an underwater archaeological excavation in southern France on the wreck of the Lomellina sunk in 1516 and from then on knew this is what I really wanted to do. I have been working with Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Service (UAS) since 1990, and have been the Chief of this unit since 2008.
I am very excited about the HMS Investigator project and the possibility of diving on the wreck to study it. In all my years with Parks Canada I have been fortunate to work on other amazing historic shipwrecks including the Elizabeth and Mary, part of Sir William Phips’ fleet that besieged Quebec in 1690, a 16th-century vessel in Red Bay National Historic Site and a World War II American plane we found near Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. I have also had the privilege to work abroad on extraordinary sites such as USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with the US National Park Service and with the National Institute of Anthropology of Argentina on HMS Swift, sunk in 1770 and extremely well preserved by the colds waters of Patagonia.
I also have a diploma in Education from the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and for two years worked as a teacher. Through this I have developed a profound interest in sharing the archaeological stories with the public. In 2011, I will be a part of the dive team that conducts the underwater surveys of the vessel.
Photo of Thierry Boyer© Parks Canada
THIERRY BOYER was born on the South Shore of Montreal. He began his studies in anthropology and historical archaeology at Laval University in Québec City where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in 1999. He then went to France to complete a Master’s degree in Marine Archaeology at the Sorbonne, studying ancient ship’s bilge pumps. He began working with Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Service as a volunteer in 1997 on the excavation of the Elizabeth and Mary shipwreck (1690) and became a full-time underwater archaeologist with the team in 2007. Previously, he had participated in numerous archaeological projects, both underwater and terrestrial, in Wyoming, Québec and Ontario.
Most of his underwater archaeology expertise was developed however with the Department of Underwater Archaeological Research (DRASSM) in France on surveys in Le Havre and Arles, on the excavation of the two Lapérouse frigates sunk in 1788 near Vanikoro, Salomon Islands and, more importantly, on the long-term excavation of two 18th-century French frigates sunk at la Natière (St. Malo). With Parks Canada, he has worked on many surveys in Canada, including those in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, and at L’Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic Site and the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Thierry has a keen interest in public outreach and education. He is a wilderness enthusiast and is looking forward to his second encounter with the Arctic. In 2010, Thierry took part in underwater search for the wreck of the Investigator. For the 2011 survey, he will conduct archaeological surveys of the wreck, while overseeing photographic and video documentation of the vessel and underwater work.
Photo of Henry Cary© Parks Canada
HENRY CARY has had the opportunity to pursue his life-long fascination with the archaeology and history from an early age. At 14 he volunteered as a military musician and historical interpreter at Fort George National Historic Site, Ontario – a position that became a paid summer job for the next six years. In 1996, Henry began a combined undergraduate degree in prehistoric archaeology and social anthropology from Wilfrid Laurier University, which included a semester at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, co-op placements with Parks Canada’s Ontario Archaeology Services, and training in physical anthropology at the University of Waterloo.
Henry then earned a Masters in historical archaeology from Memorial University, where he directed excavations on the site near Makkovik presumed to be the first Moravian mission to the Labrador Inuit. Since then Henry has been fortunate to excavate, survey, and write about a wide variety of prehistoric and historic sites in Ontario, Labrador, Newfoundland, the Northwest Territories, South Africa, and Italy. He is currently writing his PhD dissertation on the archaeology of Fort Henry National Historic Site in Kingston Ontario through the War Studies Department of the Royal Military College of Canada, and lives and works in Inuvik NWT as archaeologist and historian for Parks Canada’s Western Arctic Field Unit. This is Henry’s third project in Aulavik National Park, a place of special significance for him as it was there he met his wife Lindsay in 2008. For both the 2010 and 2011 projects, Henry coordinated consultations, permitting, contracting, research for the land sites, and aircraft and camp logistics, while in Mercy Bay he is responsible for directing the archaeological and topographical survey of the land sites.
Photo of Ryan Harris© Parks Canada
RYAN HARRIS was born in Calgary, Alberta. Ryan completed his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He then studied at East Carolina University, in Greenville North Carolina, where he graduated with his Masters in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology. Working as an underwater archaeologist with Parks Canada since 1999, he took part in more than 50 underwater archaeology projects throughout his career, including the War of 1812 shipwrecks Hamilton and Scourge, an American PBY-5A airplane in Longue-Pointe-de Mingan (Québec), RMS Empress of Ireland (1914) (Québec), 16th-century whaling vessels in Red Bay (Newfoundland and Labrador), the 18th-century French shipwrecks of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (Nova Scotia) and of the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site (Québec). His professional fields of research include historic ship architecture and remote-sensing applications to archaeological surveys. He has been actively involved in surveys all across Canada, from L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (Newfoundland and Labrador) to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site (British Columbia), and from Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park (Quebec), to the Rideau Canal and Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Sites (Ontario). He has also participated in underwater archaeology projects in the United States and in Bermuda. In 2008, Ryan was responsible for Parks Canada for the remote-sensing operations of the archaeological survey to search for the Franklin vessels. In 2010, Ryan directed the underwater search for the wreck of HMS Investigator. He also operated the side-scan sonar survey equipment used in the search and pilot a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) once the wreck was relocated. In 2011, Ryan will direct the underwater surveying of the vessel and be a part of the actual dive team.
Photo of Mervin Joe© Parks Canada
MERVIN J. JOE was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NWT) and lived most of his life in Aklavik, NWT. At a young age I became very interested in the history of the Inuvialuit People. Back in 1990, I was part of an archaeological team that excavated a few sod dwellings on Herschel Island. Since coming to Parks Canada, I continue to do archaeology and now have some back ground and experience of the process on how things come from the ground, how they get recorded, and make their way to museums for public enjoyment.
I am now a part of the Inuvialuit Smithsonian Project Team that recently went to Washington for a week long workshop to see the collection. The collection includes nearly 5000 natural history specimens, such as bird eggs and animal skeletons, and an additional 300 cultural objects collected from Anderson River Inuvialuit in the 1860s. On the 2010 HMS Investigator and McClure Cache Survey Team I assisted with camp maintenance, safety officer and acted as an archaeologist’s assistant. I will provide the same support for the 2011 surveys.
Photo of Joe Kudlak© Parks Canada
My name is Neegeonak Abel Joseph Kudlak. I was born on the land on the southside of Minto Inlet which is on Victoria Island. I started with Aulavik National Park in June of 1994 as a seasonal patrolperson. During my time with Parks Canada I have been to Aulavik National Park numerous times. I have canoed the Thomsen River, did a zodiac patrol at Mercy Bay, and have been a part of many projects that have happened at Aulavik over the years.
Some of the projects that I have taken part in are lemming monitoring, raptor survey, bird surveys, plant surveys, water quality sampling, and archaeological monitoring. I have also been a support staff as wildlife monitor on Parks projects. I will be aiding the land archaeology team and help John Lucas with camp operations and safety. This is the same role I offered the project in 2010.
Photo of John Lucas Jr.© Parks Canada
My name is John Lucas Jr from Sachs Harbour Northwest Territories. I have worked for Parks Canada since 1994, as a Patrol-person for Aulavik and Ivvavik National Parks, as well as an Ecological Technician for the Western Arctic Field Unit. Currently I am the Site Manager for Aulavik National Park. I have a lot of back-country experience on Banks Island.
I am also quite knowledgeable with the political aspects of the Western Arctic. I helped coordinate community consultations and project planning, and will be the project’s lead safety and camp operations officer. I will also assist with the land archaeological survey. I played a similar role during the 2010 season for this project.
Photo of Jonathan Moore© Parks Canada
JONATHAN MOORE was born in Banbury, England, and moved to Kingston, Canada with his family at the age of five. He studied classical studies and archaeology at Queen’s University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in 1991. While at university he learned to dive and began his involvement in underwater archaeology. He went on to complete a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies at the University of St. Andrews, and began his professional career in underwater archaeology in England and Scotland shortly thereafter.
He returned to Canada in 1994 and that year began working with Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Service. He has worked on over 50 underwater archaeology projects across Canada on a range of subjects and topics, from historic shipwrecks to submerged prehistoric landscapes and sites. He has directed underwater surveys at a range of sites including, L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador), Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada (Ontario) and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site (British Columbia). He recently directed a 2007-2009 archaeological study of the United States Navy shipwrecks Hamilton and Scourge sunk in 90 meters (300 feet) of water in Lake Ontario in 1813. His professional areas of research and interest include War of 1812 shipwrecks, ship abandonment, submerged palaeo-landscapes, the effects of invasive mussel species on underwater cultural resources, archival research and local history. Jonathan was part of the Parks Canada team on the 2008 archaeological survey to search for the Franklin vessels. In 2010, Jonathan took part in the underwater search for the wreck of the Investigator and helped with overseeing boat operations. In 2011, he will be a part of the dive team that conducts the underwater surveys of the vessel.
Photo of Leticia Pokiak© Parks Canada
My name is Letitia Pokiak, I’m Inuvialuit and I’m originally from Tuktoyaktuk. I was raised by my grandmother, Lena Pokiak (Igalik). I graduated from Samuel Hearne Secondary School in Inuvik, Northwest Terrtories, before high school was introduced in Tuk. After high school I attended Mount Royal College in Calgary, Alberta, to explore my options. I also attended Red Deer College to further explore my interests. It was with Red Deer College that I had the opportunity to go to Oaxaca Mexico for 2 months to study the history, culture and language. It was this experience, as well as my passion for my heritage, that inspired me to get into Anthropology.
I then enrolled and graduated from the University of Alberta of Edmonton in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, with a minor in Psychology. I would like to pursue my Masters in Anthropology one day, when the time is right. I’m a mother of two daughters, who will appreciate their heritage just as their parents do. I enjoy camping, traditional Inuvialuit food, travelling, culture and reading. I would encourage young Aboriginal people to find their passion and pursue their interests, as knowledge is powerful. One of my favourite quotes is, “We must know where we come from, to know where we are going.” I will be assisting in the archaeological survey of the land sites, as I did during the 2010 season.
Photo of Filippo Rionca© Parks Canada
FILIPPO RONCA was born in Peterborough, Ontario. He studied classical studies and archaeology at Queen’s University where he received a Bachelor’s degree, which was followed by a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from the University of Calgary. Filippo then studied at East Carolina University (ECU), in Greenville, North Carolina, where he graduated with his Masters in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology. While at ECU, Filippo became a Dive instructor and worked as an assistant dive safety officer for the university.
Prior to his employment with Parks Canada, Filippo worked for the Wisconsin Historical Society. For two years he worked as the State's assistant underwater archaeologist in the Wisconsin's State Underwater Archaeology Program.
Filippo started his career with Parks Canada as a volunteer back 1995 and has been working as an underwater archaeologist with Parks Canada since 2000. He has worked on numerous underwater archaeology projects across Canada on a range of subjects and topics, from historic shipwrecks to submerged prehistoric landscapes and sites. He has directed underwater surveys at a range of sites including Fathom Five National Marine Park, Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site, Restigouche National Historic Site, and Red Bay National Historic Site. He is the UAS' lead on the monitoring of Parks Canada’s sites, including the aforementioned sites and Louisbourg National Historic Site, Atherley Narrows National Historic Site, among others. For the monitoring of these sites Filippo has been supported by the Archaeological and Historic Conservation and the Analytical Sections of Parks Canada’s Ontario Service Cente. Since 2007, Filippo has been the Dive Officer for the Underwater Archaeology Service and is responsible for ensuring that all team members meet the federal standards for certifications, training and medical requirements for diving. Filippo is also a member of the Departmental Dive Committee (DDC), which is the national committee that represents federal scientific divers within Parks Canada and Environment Canada.
His professional areas of research and interests include Parks Canada submerged cultural resources monitoring program, Great Lakes maritime history, historical canal archeology, prehistoric archaeology and dive safety. In 2011, Filippo will be assisting with the archaeological objectives of the project and is responsible for diving operations.
Photo of Brett Seymour© Parks Canada
BRETT SEYMOUR is the staff photographer and documentary producer for the United States National Park Service (NPS) Submerged Resources Center (SRC) based in Denver, Colorado. Tasked with the stewardship for the protection, preservation, public access and interpretation of submerged resources, the SRC has both a national and international scope. With a degree in Television and Film Production from Messiah College, Brett started working as a full-time underwater photographer with the NPS in 1994.
His work with the Service has provided underwater access to some of our nation’s most captivating national parks. In addition to making a whole new dimension of the park system available to the public he is responsible for documenting historically significant underwater sites around the world. His still photography has appeared in a wide variety of national and international publications including National Geographic, Scuba Diving, and Smithsonian Magazine. He has also worked with National Geographic, the History and Discovery Channels, and PBS to capture the underwater world for television and film. Currently he is producing a series of 3D educational documentary films for the NPS and a 3D documentary film called “Underwater Wonders of the National Park Service” which highlights the spectacular underwater environments found throughout the NPS.
Polar Historian and Website Contributor
Photo of Glenn 'Marty' Stein© Parks Canada
GLENN “Marty” STEIN, FRGS, was born in Miami, Florida, and raised on a barrier island south of Cape Kennedy. He has researched maritime and polar history since 1975, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, with a minor in History from the University of Florida.
Glenn’s writings regularly appear in journals and magazines, having published over 50 articles to date. He is a Life Member of the American Polar Society, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), and member of the International Exploration Society, the Orders and Medals Research Society (UK) and Life Saving Awards Research Society (UK).
In 2006, he was asked to be the website polar historian for the International Polar Year 2007-2008. The invitation came as a result of applying to curate the exhibit, "The Lady Franklin Bay Arctic Expedition (1881-84) and the First International Polar Year" at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. In acknowledgement of his contributions, Glenn received the Certificate of Appreciation from the World Meteorological Organization (Switzerland) and The International Council of Science (France).
After several years of in-depth research on HMS Investigator and her crew, Glenn is currently writing a book about the voyage. In 2008, his two-part article, “The Voyage of HMS Investigator (1850-54): Solving the Mysteries of the Arctic Meritorious Service and Gallantry Medals,” was published in the Orders and Medals Research Society’s Journal. The following year, Glenn was awarded the Journal Prize for this “thorough and important research into two little-known and rare Arctic awards”.
Mr. Stein is working with the Parks Canada team in the efforts to convey the history of HMS Investigator through the inclusion of web content. His writings and contributions will be an integral part in sharing this important chapter in Canada’s Arctic history.