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Cover Art
Author Waterman, Jonathan.

Title Arctic crossing : a journey through the Northwest Passage and Inuit culture / Jonathan Waterman.

Published New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  919.804 WATE    AVAILABLE
Physical description 354 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents Prologue: Along the Smoking Hills 7 -- Part 1 Testing the Waters -- Fiery-Looking Birds 15 -- History of the Passage 22 -- Inuvialuit of Shingle Point 26 -- Kilalurak, the White Whale 34 -- Summer's First Sunset 41 -- Into the Yukon Territory 46 -- Herschel Island 53 -- Pygmies Across the North Atlantic 61 -- Orientation at the U.S. Border 66 -- Inupiat of Alaska 70 -- Kaktovik, Barter Island 78 -- Re-creating the Past on Flaxman Island 82 -- Omingmak, the Bearded One 88 -- Point Thompson Oil Camp 92 -- Barren Ground Grizzly Surprise 96 -- Prudhoe Bay Finale 100 -- Part 2 Into the Great Solitudes -- Back to the Mackenzie 107 -- Tuktoyaktuk Oil Boom 110 -- Sledding East Through Eskimo Lakes 114 -- Natiq, the Ringed Seal 119 -- Hunters of Anderson River 123 -- Searching for an Eskimo Curlew 136 -- Battling to Cape Bathurst 140 -- Eyes of a Wolf 145 -- Owning Up to the Near Miss 148 -- Bear Aggression 152 -- Portaging the Parry Peninsula 156 -- Trapped Again by the Wind 158 -- Inuvialuit of Paulatuk 166 -- Fighting out of Darnley Bay 172 -- Into Amundsen Gulf and Nunavut 176 -- Inuit Relocations 182 -- Warning of Diamond Jenness 186 -- Protected Waters of Coronation Gulf 194 -- Kugluktuk, Place of Falling Waters 198 -- Passage of the Swans 205 -- Part 3 Polar Bear -- Gjoa Haven Winter 219 -- Cambridge Bay, Nunavut 224 -- Qimmiq, the Eskimo Husky 233 -- Dogsleds Versus Getting Nowhere Without Engine 238 -- Summer Gone Winter 265 -- Hudson's Bay Company on Perry Island 276 -- Humming Through Queen Maud Gulf 284 -- Remains of the Franklin Expedition 290 -- Sailing Along King William Island 296 -- Summer's End in Gjoa Haven 301 -- Peace of the Arctic 308 -- Good People of Taloyoak 314 -- Ursa Major at Last 320 -- A. Wildlife Observations 333 -- B. Canadian Arctic Cultures Timeline 337 -- C. Inuktitut Syllabics 338 -- D. Differing Inuktitut Dialects 339.
Summary The Arctic -- with its twenty-four-hour daylight, surprisingly curious animals and inexplicable humming noises -- is a world of constant danger and limitless possibility. This unforgiving landscape is home to the Inuit (the name they prefer to "Eskimos"), whose complex and little-studied society is fascinating in its divergence from as well as its assimilation into Western culture.
Jonathan Waterman's 2,200-mile journey across the roof of North America took him through Inuit communities in Alaska to Nunavut, Canada's new, 770,000-square-mile, self-governed territory. His story, at once illuminating and alarming, offers firsthand observations of their life, language and beliefs; records their reactions to global modernization; documents their centuries of unjust treatment at the hands of Kabloona (bushy-eyebrowed whites); and witnesses unemployment, teen suicide and such persistent plagues as spousal violence and substance abuse. From the perspective of his 1997-1999 voyage -- as the Inuit stand on the brink of a more hopeful, independent future -- he also looks into a past marked by famous (or infamous) Arctic explorers, government cover-ups and environmental destruction.
This beautifully written work of intrepid reporting and even scholarship also reveals the physical risks and psychological perils of crossing the legendary Northwest Passage. Utterly alone for weeks at a time, Waterman struggles against freezing conditions, the tricks played on him by his own mind and dangers more complex than aggressive bears, stormy seas and mosquito blizzards. Following the advice of an Inuit shaman, who said that "those things hidden from others" are discovered only "far from the dwellings of men, through privation and suffering," Waterman kayaks, skis, dogsleds and sails across the Great Solitudes in a thrilling and ultimately successful quest for this "true wisdom," arriving at a profound understanding of environment and culture.
Subject Waterman, Jonathan -- Travel -- Arctic Region.
Sea kayaking -- Arctic regions.
Inuit -- Social life and customs.
Arctic regions -- Description and travel.
Northwest Passage -- Description and travel.
ISBN 0375404090