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Canterbury Foundation “Where Life is Worth Living”

- Canterbury Resident

Resident Feature: Arctic Adventure by Ellen Watt

  two girls on a boat

 In honour of Canada's 150th year, our residents were asked to reflect on their most memorable Canadian moments. This is Ellen's story.

"My most memorable Canadian travel adventure was our family boat trip down the great MacKenzie River from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. We had a sturdy 14-foot motor boat built by a clever friend in Edmonton. We took two daughters - Kathryn, 6, and Judy, 5. I decided that our 2-year old, Enid, would stay safely at home with my mother.

We hauled the boat on a trailer from Edmonton to Hay River on Great Slave Lake. The RCMP asked us to check in at each of their posts along the river. We promised to do that and it was comforting to know they were watching for us. 

The trip started at Hay River and took 22 days of travel adventure to reach East Three on the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean. We had to find a suitable place for our tent each night and kept a small bonfire lit each night to keep animals away.

We were the first travelers from outside to reach East Three by boat. This settlement later became Inuvik.

After that, we had to travel along the rough coast to get to Aklavik and finally managed to get on board a plane to take us back to Edmonton. Erik wrote a very good story for MacLean's Magazine, which helped to pay our expenses!"


book

Ellen's story is featured with other Canadian memoirs from Canterbury residents in the new book,"Celebrating a Rich History: Memories and Mementos." To purchase your copy, contact Mbalia Kamara, Activities Supervisor, at 780-930-3736. Books are $25 each. Proceeds support recreational programming for residents at Canterbury Foundation.