Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-1918 National Historic Event

Ottawa, Ontario
Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-1918 (© © Canadian Museum of Civilization 42228)
Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-1918
(© © Canadian Museum of Civilization 42228)
Address : Ottawa, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1925-05-15

Other Name(s):
  • Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-1918  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2010-SDC-CED-025

Importance: The expedition’s goals combined geographic and scientific objectives. It was comprised of two groups: the Northern Party, whose mission was to “find new land”2; and the Southern Party, focused on conducting scientific research.


Existing plaque:  Esquimalt, British Columbia

The first major Canadian government scientific expedition to the Arctic resulted in important social and economic changes for the Inuvialuit and Inuinnait who lived there, and greatly advanced the outside world’s knowledge of Canada’s Far North. Aided by local Inuit, explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s Northern Party located and mapped unoccupied islands in the High Arctic and the Southern Party led by zoologist Rudolph Anderson, studied the Western Arctic coast and Victoria Island. Sadly, the expedition cost the lives of 17 members, but left a wealth of animal, plant, and rock specimens, cultural objects, and film and photographic records of Inuit life. The mission’s legacy endures in Sachs Harbour, named for the expedition’s abandoned ship, the Mary Sachs.