Hello Ukkusiksalik is the name of an SOI alumni-led expedition into Ukkusiksalik National Park in Nunavut. Being the least visited park in Canada – located 140 kilometres from the hamlet of Naujaat (Repulse Bay) – its pristine and rugged landscape has barely been captured on camera. So Arctic 2014 participants Justin Fisch, Matt Szczepanski, and Edmond Bruce set out to explore the park on snowmobile and document its hidden beauty.
Using professional videography equipment, a documentary and a series of high-quality photos will be produced. This will help achieve the team’s goal of raising awareness about Arctic natural environments, the actions needed to preserve them, and the ability of youth to be involved in conservation and the great outdoors. In 2003, Ukkusiksalik became Canada’s 41st national park, however it wasn’t protected under the Canada National Parks Act until 2014.
Ukkusiksalik National Park is home to animals like caribou and polar bears, but is rarely frequented by people. Upon completion of this project, Justin, Matt and Edmond will be the park’s first official visitors. In March 2015, the Hello Ukkusiksalik team travelled to Nunavut according to schedule. Unfortunately, poor weather prevented them from reaching their selected destinations in the park.
Fast forward to spring 2016, when the Hello Ukkusiksalik team takes a second attempt at success. Thanks to funding from the Government of Nunavut and other generous sponsors, as well as increased support from the community, they made it! With six members of the Naujaat community, the team ventured out on a multi-day snowmobiling trip.
The expected release of the film will be Spring 2018. Stay tuned for more information of what is sure to be an incredible cinematic journey through this precious Northern park.