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Arctic Journey : A Photographic Record of His Excellency The Governor General’s Visit to the Canadian Arctic

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Library and Archives Canada: 16mm.
"Between 20 March and 5 April 1956 Governor General Charles Vincent Massey made a 10,000 mile tour of the Canadian North, journeying to such places as Great Whale River, Frobisher, Hall Lake, Resolute, Cambridge Bay, Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik, Norman Wells, Whitehorse, and The Pas where he met with local Inuit residents, watched their performances and participated in their activities. This footage provides a snapshot of Massey’s visit to each locale beginning with his departure from the Uplands Airport in Ottawa at 7:45 a.m. aboard an RCAF Canadair C-5 of No. 412 Squadron, accompanied by the Governor-General’s party, the Press Party and aircraft crew. At their first stop, Great Whale River, Quebec, Massey visits the homes of local Inuit families. Their second stop along the journey takes them to Frobisher, North West Territories. Footage features the Governor-General visiting a prepared Inuit snow-house camp set-up on the beach near the Hudson’s Bay Company post, where he is shown hunting and travelling equipment, weapons and pelts, visits igloos and travels by dogsled. The journey to Hall Lake, N.W.T., is documented with shots inside the RCAF Canadair C-5 as the men plan their itinerary and chart their route. Upon arrival in Hall Lake, the Governor-General visits an Inuit camp where he is presented with a pair of walrus tusks, significant as walrus hunting is the mainstay of the Iglulik Inuit who form this community. The visit to Resolute, N.W.T. is documented with several shots of the landscape and the Bombardier snow bus called the Muskox Express. The airplane then departs for the North Geographical Pole, and interior shots from the RCAF Canadair C-5 document Massey speaking on the radio, charting their route and demonstrating the drop of a cannister commemorating his flight. A certificate is also presented to the Governor-General. Their fifth stop takes the party to Cambridge Bay, N.W.T., where Massey visits an Inuit camp and is shown fishing through the ice of Cambridge Bay and attending a drum dance in a large Inuit snow-house. Their next stop, Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., features Massey visiting the Tuktoyaktuk Federal Day School where he meets with the school mistress, Miss D.L. Robinson, speaks to the children and presents badges to the Cubs and Brownies. Also documented is Massey’s visit to a community near Tukktoyaktuk where he visits an Inuit home. The seventh stop on the journey is Aklavik, N.W.T. where the Governor-General attends mass at the Roman Catholic Mission, experiences a dog-sled ride, visits the Anglican residential school and hospital and speaks to the assembled children. The Scouts, Cubs, Guides and Brownies form a guard of honour. Thereafter he attends a celebration and drum dance at the local hall. On Sunday, 1st April Massey attends service at All Saints Anglican Cathedral where he reads the Lesson. Shots of the RCAF Canadair C-5 then document the party’s arrival in Whitehorse, Yukon. In Whitehorse, Massey is shown inspecting the guard of honour, attending a naming ceremony, visiting Sam McGee’s original log cabin, built in 1899, located at the MacBride Museum, and laying a wreath at the Cenotaph outside the Canadian Legion. In addition, Massey visits the home of the Honourable George and Mrs. Black where he has tea and meets with several of the old pioneers from Dawson City. The final stop of the tour is The Pas, Manitoba, where he inspects the Air Cadet Guard of Honour and visits Clearwater Lake Sanitarium (at the airport) where he meets the patients, this marking the end of the film."