Multi-year partnership between First Air, The Airline of the North, and the all-female Sedna Epic Expedition facilitates climate change studies in the Arctic

CALGARY, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ - The 2014-2018 Sedna Epic Expedition announces that it has entered into a multi-year partnership with First Air, The Airline of the North.

As the official airline of the Sedna Epic Expedition, First Air will transport Sedna's all-female team of ocean scientists, explorers, educators and artists, Inuit advisers, and scientific and SCUBA diving equipment, to communities across Canada's North.

"We're delighted to partner with First Air, The Airline of the North," said Calgary-based Susan R. Eaton, founder and leader of the 2014-2018 Sedna Epic Expedition. "In fact, First Air is key to the success of the Sedna Epic Expedition." Added Eaton, "First Air's extensive experience in operating in remote areas across the Arctic will enable us to conduct scientific research and to deliver community outreach programs focused on ocean education and climate change mitigation strategies."

On July 25, the Sedna Epic Expedition departs for Iqaluit, Nunavut, mounting an ocean change expedition in Frobisher Bay. Katujjiqatigii is Inuktitut for working together, shouldering the burden together, side by side—this spirit of North-South reconciliation and cooperation embodies the vision of the Sedna Epic Expedition. 

"First Air is delighted to partner with Sedna and we thank them for their confidence in using our services," said Bert van der Stege, Vice President Commercial at First Air. "We believe that it is of fundamental importance to all of us to better understand the effects of climate change and develop mitigation strategies for Canada's North through education and research, assisting the many Northern destinations we serve daily," he said.

During the Katujjiqatigii Expedition, Sedna's twelve sea woman and two Inuit advisers will conduct a satellite tagging and DNA collection research program of Greenland sharks, a little-known cold-water shark species. Using mobile saltwater aquariums and underwater robots equipped with videocameras, Team Sedna will deliver Bringing the Ocean to Eye Level, an innovative and experiential ocean outreach program targeting youth and Elders. Equipping Inuit girls and young women in arctic-rated dry suits and masks, fins and snorkels, the sea women will mentor the next generation of Inuit leaders, taking them on snorkel safaris in Frobisher Bay and introducing them to ocean-related careers in their back yards, so to speak.

The Katujjiqatigii Expedition follows on the heels of Sedna's 2014 proof-of-concept expedition to Labrador and Greenland, and will provide the road map for the sea women's ultimate mission—a 100-day snorkel relay of the 3,000-kilometre Northwest Passage, from Pond Inlet, Nunavut, to Tuktoyaktuk, NWT—which involves ocean research and collaboration with northern communities, bringing global attention to disappearing sea ice in the Arctic.

With 70 years of flying experience, First Air is the largest scheduled airline in Canada's Arctic with a fleet of 20 aircraft. Together with its codeshare partner airlines, First Air is providing scheduled services to 30 destinations, conveniently connecting the southern gateways of Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton with its fleet of Boeing 737-400 and ATR 42 300/500 aircraft. Headquartered in Ottawa, the Airline of the North has its two main hubs in Iqaluit and Yellowknife.

The all-female Sedna Epic Expedition is a multi-year ocean research and education outreach project in the Canadian Arctic that involves the study of climate change via snorkeling and SCUBA diving. The Sedna Epic involves an international team of female ocean professionals working with Inuit and Inuvialuit girls and young women in the Arctic, with a focus on health, wellness, empowerment and the environment. Engaging northern youth and community is critical because Canada's Inuit and Inuvialuit communities in the Arctic live with the results of inter-generational trauma. In a journey towards reconciliation, it's key to focus on education as a means to heal. As stated by Justice Murray Sinclair, "Reconciliation requires deliberate, thoughtful and sustained action."

SOURCE Sedna Epic Inc.

Image with caption: "Sedna Epic Expedition (CNW Group/Sedna Epic Inc.)". Image available at:

For further information: Media Contacts: Susan R. Eaton, 2014-2018 Sedna Epic Expedition, Tel: 403-605-0159, Email:,; Jacqueline Dankwa, First Air, The Airline of the North, Tel: 613-254-6310, Email:,

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