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ARCTIC ADVENTURES: EXPLORING CANADA'S NORTH BY CANOE AND DOG TEAM

Wilson, lan and Sally Wilson
West Vancouver (B.C.), Gordon Soules Book Publishers, 1992. 237pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-919574-43-2. CIP


Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up

Reviewed by Fred Leicester

Volume 21 Number 2
1993 March


As I was reading this book in the comfort of my living room, the temperature outside was a chilling minus 30 degrees Celsius, so I can really relate to the Wilsons when they talk about camping and dog sledding in minus 20 and 30 degree weather in Canada's north.

Arctic Adventures is an entertaining, easy-reading account of a husband-and-wife e team's year-long trek across the Arctic by canoe and dog sled. The stated aims of the adventurous duo were to photograph northern wildlife, learn about Inuit ways, and to experience the Arctic through four seasons. And this they did. From the time they were dropped off at the headwaters of the Thelon River near Great Slave Lake in early July to the time they arrived by canoe at Rankin Inlet on the northwest shore of Hudson Bay the following June, the Wilsons experienced 3500 km worth of the Canadian Arctic. The Wilsons lived with an Inuit family for three months, during which time they learned traditional arctic survival skills such as constructing igloos, working a dog team, making caribou skin clothing, and fishing through ice a metre thick.

The authors recount their year of memorable experiences with humour and enthusiasm while noting with respect the fine human qualities of the Native people who live in the harsh arctic environment. This is an entertaining and informative travelogue. The insights into the social life and customs of the Inuit alone are worth the price of admission.

The book is well illustrated with numerous colour and black-and-white photographs, as well as line drawings and sketch maps of the areas travelled. A useful glossary of Inuktitut words is included.

Recommended.


Fred Leicester is Director of Instruction with Golden School District (no. 18) in Golden, British Columbia
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