My name is Mary Owingayak, and I am traveling with National Geographic Endurance this month as a Cultural Ambassador from the Nunavut Region. I live in Baker Lake.

Several months ago, I was in Rankin Inlet terminal and started talking with another passenger that had just canoed the river from Churchill, Manitoba to Arviat. As I type this, Jimmy is in Churchill doing polar bear guiding, so I asked him: “Polar bears need guiding?” We became Facebook friends and at the beginning of July he messaged, asking if I knew of anyone who would be interested in an amazing opportunity, or if I would want to do it myself. I debated for a bit, but I went for the opportunity since it is once in-a-life time!

What a privilege and blessing to be amongst the Greats of the Arctic! Today we explored the south shore of Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on earth. We saw walrus, a polar bear, beluga, and countless narwhal! And everyone on board is pretty great as well!

Text by Mary Owingayak, Community Ambassador

Photos by Bill Hunnewell, guest