The Muskox Patrol, 2004

2004, 54 minutes.

On paper, the vast High Arctic archipelago was handed to Canada by Britain in 1880, without Canada having asked of it and without any wish to actually take possession.  Twenty years later, the Norwegian explorer Otto Sverdrup and his crew spent three years among the frozen islands, making maps and observing flora and fauna. On his return to Norway, he urged the king and the government to claim the High Arctic.

It took Canada years to react.  One measure was to dispatch a few Mounties to Ellesmere Island, where they asserted Canadian sovereignty while being kept alive by Greenland and Canadian Inuit.  Based on their diaries, letters and interviews with descendents, we reconstruct poignant highlights of their years with the Inuit, trapped by blizzards and impenetrable packed ice.

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