Inuit, the last traditional culture in the world is about to disappear. They are the Inuit settlers of Thule in North Greenland. The Inuit Climate Patrol project aims to avoid that disappearance with an ambitious economic development project in the region. The objective of the project is the conservation of the traditional culture thanks to sustainable tourism in Thule villages and scientific expeditions that serve to raise awareness of this space and, at the same time, allow expedition tourism in dog sledding.

The district of Thule in northern Greenland is the home of the Inuit, the best polar travelers in the world, and home of Robert Peary’s four companions on their mythical expedition of 1909 to the Geographic North Pole: Oodaq, Egininwah, Seeglo and Ooqueah. Here is where their descendants continue to live.

Over time, the way the Inuit have traveled and lived since then has not changed much. Thule is the last place in the world where the traditional life of hunters is still carried out: dog sledding, traditional kayaking and narwhal hunting with harpoon. In recent years, restrictions on hunting and climate change are influencing the disintegration of the traditional culture.

Ramón Larramendi visited the district of Thule for the first time in 1991, during his Circumpolar Expedition. There he met some of the best hunters in the area, traveling for several days with Nuka Henson, grandson of Mathew Henson, Peary’s partner, and meeting numerous relatives of Mathew Henson, Robert Peary or Knud Rasmussen. On that trip he witnessed the extinction of that traditional way of life in Canada and Alaska, which marked him deeply. Over the years, he continued to visit Thule, doing dog sled crossings with hunters from the region, realizing that in Greenland it would also disappear.

Avoiding it is the goal of the development project that, with the support of the Greenlandic authorities and local hunters, prepares the region. The Inuit Climate Patrol is a patrol that, thanks to dog sledding, will organize expeditions of a scientific nature, with media coverage, to make known the processes of change, environmental and social, that are taking place.

The Inuit patrol will travel to the Humboldt glacier, the largest in the northern hemisphere, to collect data on both wildlife (especially polar bears) and climate change. The expeditions will collaborate in the preservation of long-distance trips that are part of the Thule traditions and the history of Arctic exploration. Along with six Inuit hunters, two scientists will participate, as well as expeditionary travelers and professionals responsible for disseminating the project worldwide.

Their presence will not only boost economic development in the region, but will revalue those traditions, based on knowledge of the environment, which today is being lost and which is intrinsically linked to a hostile environment but of spectacular beauty. Living in their homes, knowing their food, their parties, their customs, their wisdom for survival and their environment is a ‘magnet’ for those who seek unique experiences, and who otherwise would not have access to that world.