Sedna Epic: POV Proof-of-concept
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Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Canada, a team of passionate sea women divers will embark on a two-summer journey in 2018, snorkeling over 3,000 kilometres through frigid arctic seas from Pond Inlet, Nunavut, to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Supported by an expedition vessel equipped with rigid hull inflatable boats, the snorkelers will scout and document the impacts of global warming on this fragile arctic ecosystem and on the aboriginal peoples’ traditional ways of life.
Immersing themselves in the issue of disappearing sea ice, the sea women will translate their findings into educational and awareness programs on climate change and its effects on the arctic ecosystem. The 2014-2018 Sedna Epic Expedition will serve as a ‘call to action’ for citizens of the world, including youth, providing aboriginal and scientific knowledge in support of science-based policy that governments can implement to mitigate global warming. The Expedition will also serve to inspire women and girls to think ‘big’ and to follow their dreams, no matter how out-of-the-box they may seem…
Team Sedna aims to create citizen ocean scientists in Nunavut, while empowering youth, girls and young women to become the next generation of Inuit leaders to tackle climate change and societal change in the Arctic.
From Greenland to Alaska, according to Inuit legend, Sedna is the Inuit goddess of the sea, and she’s the mother of all marine mammals… Also known as the sea woman, Sedna will snorkel daily with the sea women during their epic journey through the Northwest Passage. One day, Sedna will take the form of a narwhal or a beluga; the next day, she’ll be a ringed seal or a 200-year-old bowhead whale that dodged harpoons from long-gone European whaling ships.
But before tackling the 100-day Northwest Passage snorkel relay, Team Sedna will explore Frobisher Bay, Nunavut, during July 25-August 4, 2016. The sea women will ocean change and to deliver its innovative ocean outreach program—using mobile touch aquariums and underwater robots equipped with videocameras—to Inuit youth, girls and Elders.
Katujjiqatigii is Inuktitut for working together, shouldering the burden together, side by side. And, this spirit of North-South reconciliation and cooperation pretty much summarizes the Sedna Epic Expedition. Johnny Issaluk, one of Sedna’s Inuit advisers from Nunavut, named Sedna’s July 25-August 4 expedition Katujjiqatigiit, because of its North-South relationship building and its cross-cultural educational outreach.
Katujjiqatigii follows on the heels of Sedna's 15-day, action-packed proof-of-concept expedition in July 2014. Traveling aboard the 116-foot MV Cape Race, along the Labrador coast and across the gnarly open waters of the Davis Strait to Western Greenland, the sea women demonstrated that snorkelers—using diver propulsion vehicles—can successfully ‘go the distance’ through ice-infested arctic waters.
Who would be crazy enough to answer such a cryptic appeal, inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous 1914 advert—in a London newspaper—recruiting men for a perilous Antarctic expedition? Channeling the same spirit of polar exploration one hundred years later, Susan R. Eaton, founder and leader of the 2014-2018 Sedna Epic Expedition, advertised for all-female crew in mid-2013. Ten female ocean explorers, aged 26 to 56, from Canada, the United States, Mexico and New Zealand answered this intriguing call to attempt a world record—a snorkel relay of the Northwest Passage—and to go ‘where no man has gone before.’ In parallel, Milos Simovic, the owner and captain of the MV Cape Race, a 116-foot side trawler converted to carry passengers, placed his own Shackleton-inspired advert for crew. In July 2014, Team Sedna will mount its proof-of-concept expedition to Labrador, Baffin Island and Greenland, aboard this Canadian-built vessel that’s used to plying arctic waters.