By Kirk Moore
This summer’s research cruises to the Arctic and Northwest Passage marked new milestones for the Coast Guard, amid growing interest in the region’s maritime potential and momentum building for a new U.S. icebreaker fleet.
The 420’ medium icebreaker Healy’s annual summer science voyage to the North Pole was notable for the first Coast Guard dive team to operate under the ice in 11 years. The exercise was the first since a 2006 accident cost two divers their lives, and led to widespread review and reform on Coast Guard dive procedures.
The Arctic is many things to many people. In Canada, this malleability has made the region an incredibly valuable vehicle for nation-building and identity construction.
As a Newfoundland-born international politics scholar and author who researches Canada’s relationship with the Arctic, I believe that very pliability of the Arctic is an important feature of Canadian society, one that’s been cultivated for decades. The Arctic has intrigued many of us for myriad reasons since Confederation.
Canada’s most famous painters, the Group of Seven, focused extensively on the Canadian North in their work and Lawren Harris, in particular, immortalized the imagery of a vast frozen landscape devoid of life into the national psyche and brand.