The Neptune Expedition of 1903-04
Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic: The Neptune Expedition of 1903-04
ABSTRACT. Prior to 1903, Canada did not effectively exercise jurisdiction over its Arctic territories, where men of various nationalities carried out whaling, hunting, trading and mining without any restriction. The Dominion Government Expedition of 1903-04 on board the Neptune constituted the first significant step towards the assertion of Canadian authority in the eastern Arctic, particularly in Hudson Bay.
Its members established a police post, implemented customs procedures, prohibited trade in the hides of musk-ox (an endangered species), and informed the Eskimos that Edward VI1 was their king. In addition to demonstrating the Dominion Government’s authority over its Arctic territories, the Neptune Expedition helped to promote the decline of the whaling industry, which for decades had provided the economic basis of Eskimo life certain regions. continued …. Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic: The Neptune Expedition of 1903-04