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In this dispatch for National Geographic’s Explorer’s Journal, Meet the North takes you to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, a strip of land that has had a lasting impact on the north.
This area represents a much larger story of relationships between different Arctic people and how the north was settled. Though the landscape looks much different now than during the last ice age, themes of travel, interconnectedness, and land-based livelihoods still come through loud and clear.
Meet the North introduces you to some of the amazing people they’ve met along the way.
This Above and Beyond – Canada’s Arctic Journal piece profiles these stories from a men’s choir in Iceland to a celebration in Pond Inlet.
By meeting one person at a time, and by asking that person to introduce us to someone new, we are journeying around the pole, story by story.
Meet the North gives you a look at Pond Inlet, an Arctic community with a deep love for Canada’s game.
This BBC Travel piece introduces you to the die-hard hockey fans of this Nunavut community as they receive a guest of honour – the Stanley Cup.
It is often said ice hockey is more than just a game in Canada, it’s a way of life. And in isolated places like Pond Inlet, where snowmobiles and four-wheelers are the main modes of transport, this is no exception.
Take the road less travelled as Meet the North diverges from Iceland’s ring road to explore the Melrakkaslétta peninsula.
This BBC Travel piece introduces you to unique characters and beautiful landmarks in the country’s often overlooked northeast corner.
“You don’t want to take that road. It’s flat and featureless. It’s of no interest.”
But by leaving the paved ring road and travelling 275km on roads 85 and 870 over three days, we entered a new territory of unexpected encounters, full of tundra beauty, moody vistas and unforgettable locals.
Siggeir Stefánsson introduces us to Þórshöfn, his small Icelandic fishing town which he hopes to diversify in order to keep afloat.
“If you live in Reykjavik, you can choose from 100 kinds of work. Here you cannot choose from so many. Our young people are not coming back.” Rather than focus on the tourist economy, Siggeir’s municipality is opening the door to more industry.
In Meet the North’s most recent Arctic Deeply story, meet the man behind Iceland’s Arctic Henge. The late Erlingur B. Thoroddsen dreamt of sharing the beauty he saw in the small town of Raufarhöfn through his ‘hobby.’
Thoroddsen explained that the entire structure would be made from locally quarried stone and surrounded by representations of 72 dwarves that he and his artist friends have drawn from history and folklore. Each dwarf represents a specific span of calendar dates, like signs of the Zodiac, so you can look up your birthday dwarf and what it stands for.
Meet the North’s latest Arctic Deeply story brings you into the workshop of two of Greenland’s traditional sealskin crafters.
Soriina Davidsen and Vera Larsen explain the highs and lows of a controversial craft with a longstanding place in the country’s history.
Davidsen and her coworker, Vera Larsen, spend long days here cutting, stitching and talking. The pair have formed a friendship – and a business – over sealskin, a material central to Greenlandic culture that has divided others around the world.
Arctic Deeply ventures to Jan Mayen island to meet the 18 people who compose Norway’s most isolated community. Learn more about Siw Landro, who works as the island’s nurse, librarian and everything in between.
Siw Landro fell in love, again, when she arrived on Jan Mayen, Norway. Siw has a partner and children back home, but Mr. Beerenberg immediately caught her eye. “Mr. Beerenberg is the most handsome man I ever saw.” He’s moody, she said, but “he almost makes my husband jealous. I get goosebumps just looking at him.” “He” last erupted in 1985.
Mr. Beerenberg is the 2,277-meter-tall (7,470 feet) volcano that dominates the north end of Jan Mayen, a Norwegian territory that lies closer to Greenland than any other Arctic territory.
Check out our latest Arctic Deeply story:
Learn with Meet the North as two of Nunavut’s foremost language experts explain how Inuktitut has evolved for the digital age.
The Inuktitut word for internet, “ikiaqqijjut,” is often translated as “the tool to travel through layers.” But Eva stresses that it needs more explanation.
“The idea is that when shamans are in their trance, they can go anywhere around the world, including the moon,” Eva says. “When our elders heard there was the first man on the moon, they said, ‘They are not the first. We have been there and done that,’ because shamans have been there. Shamans would travel in a trance; if they want to check on their family far away, they can visit them and see how they’re doing.”
Check out our most recent story on Arctic Deeply.
As luck would have it, Meet the North bumped into local artist Mathew Nuqingaq during a short stop in Iqaluit. Take a tour of his workshop as he explains his passion for creating jewelry and all things metal.
In the shop, I noticed a man with a kind face and a polar bear claw in a silver setting hanging around his neck. I decided to talk to him instead of continuing my search.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I noticed your necklace and wanted to ask you about it.”
“I made it,” he said.
“Really?” I asked. “Do you make other jewelry too?”