Emily Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver Heritage FairProject:
Search for the Northwest Passage
My project, “Search for the Northwest Passage”, examines the history and importance of the icy channels situated in Canada’s chilly Arctic. Explorers searched for the Northwest Passage for hundreds of years, because Europeans hoped to use it as a faster trading route to get to Asia. My video is highlights the HMS St. Roch, the first boat to travel through the Northwest Passage in just a season, which is now docked in my hometown, Vancouver, BC.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
After learning about the extensive search for the Northwest Passage, it surprised me that many explorers, from Christopher Columbus to Henry Larsen to Sir John Franklin, were brave enough to try their hand at locating the fabled passage even though many sailors, even the bravest and strongest, didn’t survive. I was impressed that these explorers were willing to set off on a voyage when they hardly knew which direction they should be sailing in.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
I think my project really shows evidence of how much global warming is affecting the Earth. Many people probably don’t know how much ice is melting because of factors such as pollution. I hope Canadians will realize that greenhouse gases are severely affecting our Arctic and that we should be careful about the energy we use.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
My research really opened my eyes to the fact that the world wasn’t always the way it is now, where we can fly a plane within hours to our destination instead of taking months to sail overseas. Today, you can just open an atlas to look at the world, whereas I learned that years ago much of the world was unknown outside of your own country. Many of the explorers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries only knew what their own country was like, compared to today, where people are exposed to cultures from all around the world.