Lonnie Dupre | Greenland Then and Now
Date: July 30, 2023
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center
One hour presentation keynote presentation with a question-and-answer period at the Seagull Lake Community Center
It has been 21 years since Lonnie Dupre and John Hoelscher completed the first and only circumnavigation of Greenland; a 6,500-mile journey all non-motorized by dog team and kayak. In 2022 Dupre went back to NW Greenland to document through film the Polar Inuit culture.
Traveling from village to village by dog team, Dupre re-connected with his past polar Inuit friends to find out how their culture has changed because of climate change and modernization over the last two decades.
The Polar Inuit are unsung heroes of countless Arctic expeditions. Their ingenuity and innovation through trial and error and creative ways of improvising has always amazed Lonnie on past expeditions. The Polar Inuit people make it seem easy to live in a place, that otherwise appears inhospitable to us. Traditions that have been passed on for thousands of years; by dressing in furs and by forming a symbiosis with their sled dogs, they managed to live off the land, completely in tune with their environment of ice and snow. These people are not run by a clock; they do things when the time seems right. People are seen as equal; no person should be perceived as better than another.
I was shocked at how drastic global warming has affected the land and culture. Permafrost melting is undermining foundations of houses, ice caps and glaciers have receded so much that new maps are required to identify the distorted coastline. Sea ice in the Inglefield Fjord that was once 7 feet thick in mid-winter is now 18 inches. At this current rate of melting, the fjord will be ice free in 7 to 10 years. In the mountainous and ice cap terrain, the Inuit rely on sea ice to travel between villages and for hunting. Once the ice is gone, the Inuit will become land locked, held prisoners in their own villages unable to travel for 8 months out of the year.
Western advancement and Technology are also tugging at and slowly unravelling the culture. Bigger boats with motors, snow machines taking place of sled dogs, modern clothing replacing furs and Facebook and smart phones consuming time.~
A 45-minute documentary called ‘Amka’ (the Inuktun word for ‘one with friendly spirit’) will be released next fall. The film is aimed at conveying the fragility of Greenland, and the humble people that carved out special lives in a land of snow and ice. For more information and updates: www.LonnieDupre.com
• 1991 – Completed the first west to east, 3,000-mile winter crossing of Canada’s famed Northwest Passage by dog team.
• 2001 – Achieved the first and only circumnavigation of Greenland, a 6,500 mile, all nonmotorized journey by kayak and dog team.
• 2006 & 2009 – Pulled sleds on skis from Canada to the North Pole twice achieving over 23 million impressions worldwide on issues surrounding climate change.
• 2015 – Accomplished the first solo winter ascent of Alaska’s Mount Denali (20,340ft.) in the month of January.
Presentation will take place at the Seagull Lake Community Center, 7 Seagull Lake Access Road, Grand Marais, MN 55604
All presentations are family-friendly and free to the public.
Donations are always appreciated.
Take your time driving up the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway!
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