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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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Luke Fox

Luke Fox, also spelled Foxe, explorer (b at Kingston-upon-Hull, Eng 20 Oct 1586; d c 15 July 1635). He left for the Arctic in 1631, 2 days after Thomas JAMES left on a rival voyage.

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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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Sir David Kirke

Sir David Kirke, trader and privateer, first governor of Newfoundland (born at Dieppe, France c1597; died near London, England 1654). Kirke, with Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, formed the Company of Adventurers, which was granted patents by King Charles I. It gave them the right to trade and settle in Canada. Kirke was the owner of the first recorded Black chattel-slave in New France, Olivier Le Jeune

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Joao Fernandes

Joao Fernandes, explorer (flourished 1486-1505). A Portuguese of the Azores, he had traded with Bristol from 1486. He likely sailed with John CABOT in 1498 as a pilot. Cabot's ship went down, but Fernandes returned with charts of discoveries around Greenland and Newfoundland.

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Gaspar Corte-Real

Gaspar Corte-Real, explorer (b 1450?; d 1501). A native of the Azores, he initiated Portuguese claims in the North Atlantic. It is thought that he reached Greenland and worked his way south to Newfoundland in 1500, and that he

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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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Thomas Griffith Taylor

Thomas Griffith Taylor, geographer, educator, explorer (b at Walthamstow, Eng 1 Dec 1880; d at Sydney, Australia 4 Nov 1963). A dynamic personality who did research on every continent, Taylor founded the first Canadian department of geography at U of T (1935).

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Sir Henry Kellett

Sir Henry Kellett, naval officer, arctic explorer (b at Clonabody, Ire 2 Nov 1806; d there 1 Mar 1875). Kellett joined the British navy in 1822 and served in the West Indies and on survey vessels in Africa, the Far East and Central America.

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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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John Rae

John Rae, fur trader, explorer, surgeon, author (born 30 Sept 1813 in Orkney, Scotland; died 22 July 1893 in London, England).

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Joshua Slocum

Joshua Slocum, sea captain and author (b at Wilmot Township, NS 20 Feb 1844; d at sea sometime after 14 Nov 1909).

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Eenoolooapik

Eenoolooapik, also known as Bobbie, Inuk traveller, guide (born circa 1820 in Qimisuk [or Qimmiqsut], Cumberland Sound, NT; died in 1847 in Cumberland Sound, NU). Eenoolooapik provided British whaling captain William Penny with a map of Cumberland Sound that led to the rediscovery of that area 255 years after English explorer John Davis first saw it. The geographic information Eenoolooapik provided to whalers led to years of permanent whaling camps in Cumberland Sound.