The Canadian Arctic is a remote destination that we can only travel to during the months of July to September. As the winter solstice approaches, remember that communities in the North are living in 24 hours of darkness at this time of year. Eric Solomon, Director of Arctic Programs for Ocean Wise just returned from Pond Inlet and we asked him how people coped with the dark, cold days.
“There is always something going on – dances, game nights, parades, feasts – and it left me with the impression that this is when the community is at its strongest,” said Eric. “I once had it described to me as ‘the warmest time of the year’ in the Arctic. It’s the time when everyone is home in the community—other times of year, people are out hunting or at their cabins.”
We spoke to one of our guides in the field, Ted Irniq, and he told us that groups of people will gather to partake in meals, sitting in circles on the ground to demonstrate that there is no hierarchy. Doors are never locked, as every person is welcome anytime if they need food or warmth. Though Christmas trees are not usually seen, colourful lights still twinkle on houses in this remote corner of the world that sits in darkness 24 hours a day in December.
The holiday season is a time of year when people celebrate the important things in life – spending time with family and friends, cherishing those moments together and enjoying the season of giving. This is much the same in the Arctic, perhaps even more so. Giving isn’t always about material items. Giving can be about many things – giving time, giving love and giving experiences that create memories to last a lifetime. There is no place that embraces this spirit quite like the communities in the Canadian Arctic.
Since our establishment in 2007, One Ocean Expeditions has been contributing to programs in Arctic communities aligned with our core values of education, exploration, science, socioeconomic development, and sustainable tourism. With an aim to connect the far North with the South of Canada and the rest of the world, we support community engagement and leadership through our voyages, striving to continually deepen this relationship. We celebrate the traditions, culture, history, art, music and nature that are the pride of these northern communities.