The Arctic Adventures Of Flat Stanley
October 9 – October 17, 2003
Flat Stanley’s Visit To Alert, Nunavut
This is a special update for Miss Tooley’s grade 4 class at Wilshire Elementary School. As part of a class project, Miss Tooley’s students made their own Flat Stanleys and sent them to various places across Canada. One of her students, Darren, sent his Flat Stanley up to me in Alert.
Now, Flat Stanley is visiting the world’s northernmost permanently-inhabited community! For the past week, I have been taking Stanley around and showing him all the sights of Alert, and teaching him a little bit about Canada’s arctic. I have also been filling out Stanley’s journal so that the rest of Miss Tooley’s class can learn a little bit about life in the north when Stanley returns. Here are some of the places that Stanley and I have visited together during his trip.
At 82º30’N, Alert is the most northern community in the world. Alert is home to a Canadian Forces Station, in addition to an Environment Canada weather station, and atmosphere monitoring laboratory. Alert is in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut (although the sign you see in the picture still reads NWT, for Northwest Territories). There have been people living in Alert since the 1950’s.
As you can see from the picture, Alert is proud to be Canadian! Everyone living in Alert is Canadian, and speaks French or English (or both!).
In this picture, Stanley and I are standing beside an inuksuk. Inuksuit are traditionally built by Inuit people to mark the places they have travelled. There are no Inuit people who live permanently in Alert, so this inuksuk was built by some military personnel who worked in Alert in the summer.
There are no trees in Alert, because trees cannot grow this far north. The ground is mostly flat near where I live, but as you can see, there are some hills in the background. There are also lots of cliffs along the arctic ocean coastline. The temperature here is around -20 ºC right now, and there are only a few hours of daylight. Soon it will be dark for 24 hours a day. In Alert, we have 24-hour daylight for about half the year, and 24-hour darkness for the other half. Right now, we are just at the end of the transition period between 24-hour daylight and 24-hour darkness.
While Stanley was visiting Alert, we drove around in my big blue truck. We need tracks like these in the winter to drive through all of the snow that blows around and builds up. I don’t think Stan has ever been in a truck like this before!
While we were so close to the north pole, we decided to take a visit to Santa’s workshop…
…and visit Santa himself!