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Alexander Murray

Alexander Murray, geologist, explorer (b at Crieff, Scot 2 June 1810; d there 18 Dec 1884). Murray served in the Royal Navy 1824-35, and then in 1837 immigrated with his young bride to Woodstock, Upper Canada.

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Pierre-Esprit Radisson

After the governor of New France punished them for this expedition, the partners went to Boston to arrange a voyage to Hudson Bay. In 1665 they sailed to England, where their plan of bypassing the St Lawrence R to reach the interior fur-producing region found backers.

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Canadian Astronauts

An astronaut is an individual involved in flight beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Since the Canadian Space Agency held its first recruitment campaign in 1983, 14 Canadians have completed astronaut training and nine have participated in 17 missions to space. Specifically, they have flown as payload specialists, mission specialists, and flight engineers on NASA shuttle flights and expeditions to the International Space Station (ISS). Canadian astronauts have played key roles in repairing satellites and building the ISS using the Canadarm and Canadarm2 robotic technologies, and have advanced scientific knowledge by conducting a variety of experiments in space.

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Chris Hadfield

Chris Austin Hadfield, OC, OOnt, astronaut, military test pilot (born 29 August 1959 in Sarnia, ON). After a distinguished career as a test pilot, Hadfield became an astronaut in 1992. Over the course of his career, he achieved a series of Canadian firsts: he was the first Canadian to be a space mission specialist, to operate the Canadarm in orbit, to do a spacewalk and to command the International Space Station. He was also the first to record a music video in space — a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” — adding to his celebrity status. Hadfield retired from the Canadian Astronaut Corps in July 2013. In 2014, he began teaching in the University of Waterloo’s aviation program.

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Otto Neumann Sverdrup

Otto Neumann Sverdrup, arctic explorer (b at Bindal, Norway 31 Oct 1854; d at Oslo 26 Nov 1930). An experienced sailor and outdoorsman, he was introduced to arctic travel by Fridtjof Nansen, who invited him in 1888 to ski across

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Graham Westbrook Rowley

Graham Westbrook Rowley, CM, MBE, MA (Cantab) explorer, archaeologist, public servant, (b at Manchester, Eng 31 Oct 1912; d at Ottawa, 31 Dec 2003). As a young archaeologist he went to the Eastern Arctic with the British Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1936.

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Anthony Henday

Henday, Anthony, explorer (probably b on the Isle of Wight, Eng; fl 1750-62). Henday travelled farther into western Canada than any white person had before him, and his journal contains important glimpses of how the indigenous population lived at that time.

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Erik the Red

Erik the Red (Eiríkr rauða in Old Norse and Eiríkur rauði in modern Icelandic, a.k.a. Erik Thorvaldsson), colonizer, explorer, chief (born in the Jæren district in Norway; died c. 1000 CE at Brattahlid, Greenland). An Icelandic settler of modest means who was exiled for his involvement in a violent dispute, Erik the Red rose in status as he explored Greenland and founded the first Norse settlement there. One of his sons, Leif Eriksson, led some of the first European explorations of the east coast of North America, including regions that are now part of Arctic and Atlantic Canada.

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André Michaux

André Michaux, botanist, explorer (b near Versailles, France 8 Mar 1746; d on Madagascar 11 Oct 1803?). He compiled the first North American flora which includes many plants collected in Lower Canada in 1792.

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Moira Dunbar

Isobel Moira Dunbar, OC, FRSC, public servant, ice research scientist (born 3 February 1918 in Edinburgh, Scotland; died 22 November 1999 in Ottawa, ON).

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Marc Garneau

Marc Garneau, CC, astronaut, military officer, engineer, politician (born 23 February 1949 in Québec City, QC).

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Leif Eriksson

Leif Eriksson (Old Norse Leifr Eiríksson, a.k.a. Leifr hinn heppni, Leif the Lucky), explorer, chieftain (born in the 970s CE in Iceland; died between 1018 and 1025 in Greenland). Leif Eriksson was the first European to explore the east coast of North America, including areas that are now part of Arctic and Atlantic Canada. Upon the death of his father, Erik the Red, Leif became paramount chieftain of the Norse colony in Greenland. The two main sources on him are The Saga of the Greenlanders and The Saga of Erik the Red. There are also references to him in The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason and The Saga of St. Olaf.

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Albert Peter Low

Albert Peter Low, geologist, explorer (b at Montréal 24 May 1861; d at Ottawa 9 Oct 1942). Low joined the Geological Survey of Canada on graduation from McGill. The Québec-Labrador border was eventually defined on the basis of his 1893-95 explorations.

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Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain, cartographer, explorer, colonial administrator, author (born circa 1567 in Brouage, France; died 25 December 1635 in Quebec City). Known as the “Father of New France,” Samuel de Champlain played a major role in establishing New France from 1603 to 1635. He is also credited with founding Quebec City in 1608. He explored the Atlantic coastline (in Acadia), the Canadian interior and the Great Lakes region. He also helped found French colonies in Acadia and at Trois-Rivières, and he established friendly relations and alliances with many First Nations, including the Montagnais, the Huron, the Odawa and the Nipissing. For many years, he was the chief person responsible for administrating the colony of New France. Champlain published four books as well as several maps of North America. His works are the only written account of New France at the beginning of the 17th century.