Arctic Expedition - Day 13 - Teachers at the North Pole

Current position: 71.31N latitude 131.22W longitude; Temp. 27F; conditions: sunny
View from Healy's Aloft Con camera (click to enlarge)

Day 13 was the greatest polar bear sighting day ever (more on that on another post). This guy, who I named "Jasper," came within 100 meters of our ship. Every other step Jasper took, his nose was aimed our way, getting himself a waft of our taco Tuesday lunch.

The Inupiaq People of Barrow
Gabriel Tegoseak is a native Inupiaq Alaskan from Barrow, Alaska, who is part of this expedition serving as the community observer.

Gabe's responsibilities on this cruise are to observe the condition of the animals--whales, polar bears, seals, walrus--the Inupiaq subsist upon. In addition to animal sightings, making note of the condition of the ice, which is critical to the lives of these animals, is part of the community observer's job.

Gabe recently gave a well-attended talk on the culture of his people, which included an audience participation Inupiaq ceremonial dance.

I recently interviewed Gabe on the challenges of preserving native culture in the 21st Century, and this video is the result. In addition, this video is interspersed with visuals of our ice liberty day from last Saturday. Enjoy!

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