Aglukkaq re-announces Franklin Centre for Gjoa Haven

Project earmarked for $16.9 million over five years

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Parks Canada underwater archaeologist Filippo Ronca measures the muzzle bore diameter of a brass cannon on the HMS Erebus shipwreck in Queen Maud Gulf, late-September 2014. (COURTESY OF PARKS CANADA)


Parks Canada underwater archaeologist Filippo Ronca measures the muzzle bore diameter of a brass cannon on the HMS Erebus shipwreck in Queen Maud Gulf, late-September 2014. (COURTESY OF PARKS CANADA)

Better late then never: incumbent Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq announced Sept. 10 what Prime Minister Stephen Harper revealed when he stopped in Iqaluit last month, that Gjoa Haven will see an interpretive centre devoted to the unsuccessful 1845 expedition of Sir John Franklin through the Northwest Passage.

In a news release, Aglukkaq also said the centre will be part of the first operational National Historic Site in Nunavut since 1999, first reported on last month in the Nunatsiaq News, “that would be built by a re-elected Conservative government,” she said.

“The discovery of HMS Erebus last summer showed to the world the importance of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit,” Aglukkaq said in the release. “Our Conservative government in partnership with the Government of Nunavut, the private sector, Inuit organizations and local community members made this historic discovery possible and now we need to ensure it is preserved and promoted for the benefit of Nunavummiut and all Canadians.”

Aglukkaq said a re-elected Conservative government would provide $16.9 million over five years and $1.5 million each year after that to protect and conserve the wreck of HMS Erebus and its artifacts.

“It is our goal to encourage Canadians to learn about our North, celebrate Inuit traditional knowledge and to support the local economy and tourism,” she said.

The money will be used to construct a multi-functional facility for research, conservation and presentation of artifacts in Gjoa Haven.

Aglukkaq said in the release that the project would create long-term jobs and opportunities for the residents of Gjoa Haven, while “housing artifacts in the community will also provide greater tourism opportunities to the community while benefitting local businesses.”

She said the federal government will partner with local community members, the Inuit Heritage Trust, the Nattilik Heritage Centre, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. “to tell the story of the role played by Inuit in Sir John Franklin’s expedition and the find of HMS Erebus for the benefit of all Canadians.”

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