Part of the purpose of this expedition was to make territorial land claims for Canada “asserting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic regions which are territory of this Dominion by right of cession made to Canada by the imperial government” (p. 3). It also restored a memorial tablet in honour of Sir John Franklin on Beechey Island.
p. 34: Saturday, December 22nd.—Wind west. Weather clear and cold. At ten o’clock in the forenoon it is still too dark outside to permit us to read ordinary type; it is almost eleven o’clock in the forenoon before it is bright enough to read outside. This will give an idea of the length of daylight there is this day. I invited the men to arrange and decorate their cabins for Christmas….
December 24th.—General inspection of the ship; today the main deck and cabin are perfectly clean; the living rooms and state-rooms have been properly washed and cleaned, and the officers have their state-rooms well decorated for Christmas; they have put up flags and family photos, and every one seems to be proud of his room….
December 25th, Christmas Day.—There was Sunday service in the forenoon; it was well attended by members of the expedition and some of the natives who had already arrived for the dinner. At l p.m. all the natives had arrived on board with their families; about 120 persons, they sat down to a good Canadian dinner. After dinner I addressed them a few words; telling them again that they were Canadians and would be treated as such as long as they would do what was right. Amusements including tricks and acts, wrestling matches, juggling, a pianola, and native dancing followed, etc .]