Braving the Arctic winds

Local documentarist explores the intersecting lives of two different cultures in two different time periods while filming in the Arctic

Local documentary filmmaker Eva Wunderman (above in the ski mask) explores the intersecting lives of the descendants of Swedish legend Petter Norberg in Kugluktuk. The historical documentary with a contemporary twist is slated to be released this year.

Wunderman is working on a historical documentary with a contemporary twist; tracing the roots of Swedish explorer and fur trader Petter Norberg, and documenting the reunion of his modern day descendants — a journey that spans two continents, two vastly differently cultures, and a century.

Norberg left Sweden at the end of the 19th century in a quest to find gold. His journey brought him to the Western Artic, where he fell in love with and married a Gwitchin woman.

The marriage produced children.

Almost a century later, his descendants reunited in the small town of Kugluktuk, Nunavut in mid April this year, where Wunderman and her crew braved the extreme cold to get  footage (a practice Wunderman is familiar with and enjoys as part of the filmmaking process.

Edna Elias, the former Nunavut commissioner and the great-granddaughter of Petter Norberg, met with Frederik Norberg of Sweden, Petter’s great-grandnephew, for the first time in the small Inuit establishment on the coast of Coronation Gulf in western Nanuvut, largely because of the efforts of Wunderman.

Wunderman first learned of the story from a Swedish author who crafted a short factual book on the subject, and knew it was something she had to explore.

“I thought this is a story that needs to be told, after I read about Petter and all the things he did,” said Wunderman in an interview at her home on top of Thacker Mountain.

The award winning filmmaker is no stranger to historical pieces, having taken a stab at the history of the Fraser Canyon with her documentary entitled “Canyon Wars,” which explores the tenuous relationships between settlers and First Nations in the region.

The narrative of the documentary provided the opportunity for Elias to discover more about her Swedish roots, while allowing Norberg to foster a better understanding of his great-granduncle’s experiences (he is planning to write a book  about Petter’s life) as the second person in history to sail the Northwest Passage in a single vessel.

Norberg established the northernmost Hudson’s Bay trading post, and had many adventures that included the rescue of Knud Ramussen during the Danish Fifth Thule Expedition.

He eventually disappeared during a canoe trip, but his legend survived and will have the chance to be told on the big screen, once Wunderman is done logging the footage and piecing it together.

Just Posted

Hope Search and Rescue assist in flood response

Evacuation alerts and river monitoring carried out by HSAR together with the District of Hope

Chilliwack prolific offender a no-show for sentencing hearing

Warrant issued on May 17 for Jeffrey Michael Kizmann wanted for robbery

‘We’re not out of the woods yet’: Hope Mayor on flooding

Gabion diking system installed, residents urged to stay clear of river banks

UPDATED: Pedestrian fatally hit on railway in Agassiz

Police, fire and ambulance responded

WATCH: Semi-trailer fire along Highway 5 put out twice in one day by Hope crews

Fire chief warns drivers taking video to slow down and move over to avoid further accidents

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Drivers could pay $8 per day to help cut gridlock under new plan

Mobility pricing report outlines two existing models to cut Metro Vancouver congestion by 20-25%

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

Trans-Canada Highway reopens to traffic early Friday morning

Most Read