Hauling for Health:
The Northwest Passage 2018
Solo Ski Expedition
In early April 2018 (like, tomorrow!) Dr. Bill Hanlon will embark on the first leg of a multi-year solo expedition to traverse the full 3,300 kn length of the Northwest Passage from Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories to Pond Inlet on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada.
The first leg will start from Cambridge Bay to Gjoa Haven and then onto Taloyoak in Nunavut.
The expedition will focus on highlighting the current health issues of northern indigenous peoples.
The NW Passage is steeped in history, exploration, rich culture and landscape as well as human health, environmental, wildlife, and sovereignty challenges.
This expedition is much more than an exploration of this wild, beautiful, remote, harsh Canadian landscape.
It is about exploration into the harsh reality of the current health status of northern people.
It is about exploring why this low density population living in this vast land mass within our Canadian borders has such poor health outcomes compared to the rest of Canada.
Why the population of Nunavut, with a similar land mass as Mexico and a population of only 36,000 residents has such high rates of diabetes, suicide, tuberculosis, and household food insecurity.
This expedition is about engaging with local communities, elders, front line workers, exploring reasons why these health parameters exist and trying to explore more effective, sustainable solutions at the grass roots level.
It is about navigating through this complex issue by engaging at the community level, respecting every point of view and sharing 30 years of medical experience working with indigenous populations in remote parts of the globe.
This expedition is also about self exploration, paring down living needs, focusing on the basic human needs of food, shelter, water, connectivity with the people and landscape, the spirits of the passage and temporarily disconnecting with the “business” of modern life.
It is about movement within the natural world and trying to keep an aging body sustained and reaching out tot he next horizon. It is about dealing with one’s vulnerabilities in a vast and powerful landscape.
The upcoming expedition will continue the Siberian Lake Baikal “Conversations from the Sled”. The team of Hobnails, Scelig the sled,Tommy the tent, Sally the stove, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel will be joined by twins Siku the skis, Nanuq the navigator … these vital members of the team are essential for it’s survival.
This walk in the wild “Hauling for Health” expedition will start from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada in early April 2018.