HMS Terror Added to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site 

News Release

Franklin wreck site now protected under the Canada National Parks Act

December 15, 2017                            Ottawa, ON                                 Parks Canada Agency

The Government of Canada is pleased to announce HMS Terror has been added to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site, ensuring additional legal protection for the wreck site under the Canada National Parks Act. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, and the Chair of the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee, Fred Pedersen, announced the additional protection for HMS Terror today.  The inclusion of HMS Terror in the national historic site was done based on the recommendation of the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee. 

HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were the two vessels of the 1845 Franklin Expedition to locate the Northwest Passage. The location of the ships had been a mystery for over 150 years, but Inuit knowledge provided information that helped search teams locate the wreck of HMS Erebus in 2014 and HMS Terror in 2016.

The amendment to the National Historic Sites of Canada Order under the Canada National Parks Act announced today will legally protect the wreck of HMS Terror, the 57.8 km2 surrounding wreck site, the water column around the ship and any artifacts in the protected area. The wreck of HMS Erebus was added to the National Historic Sites of Canada Order and accorded these same protections in 2014. 

Parks Canada and the Government of Nunavut work closely with a number of partners including the RCMP, the Department of National Defence, Transport Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Canadian Coast Guard to closely monitor the wreck sites and to ensure their protection. Along with the additional legal safeguards for the wreck site of HMS Terror, Parks Canada is working with the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee to develop an Inuit Guardians Program to ensure the protection and presentation of the two vessels. In 2017, Inuit Guardians were posted at both wreck sites during the ice-free season to monitor the protected area and to report any unauthorized vessel traffic. Eventually, the Guardians will play a key role in hosting visitors to the wreck sites of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Inuit rights under the Nunavut Agreement are recognized and will continue to be exercised within the national historic site.

The sites of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are not open to the public at this time and a permit is required to enter the protected areas; however, Parks Canada and the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee are working to develop visitor experience activities that support the long-term protection of both wreck sites. 

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is committed to the protection of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror and to sharing the incredible story of the Franklin Expedition and the important role of Inuit of Nunavut with Canadians and the world. Adding HMS Terror to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site will ensure the legal protection of the wreck and its artifacts, now and for future generations. We will continue to work in partnership with Inuit of Nunavut on the long-term protection, presentation and management of these fabled wrecks.” 

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

 

“The Franklin Interim Advisory Committee is pleased that HMS Terror is now included in the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site. The additional protections will ensure the Franklin artifacts and the ships will be protected for future generations and the story of Franklin and Inuit continue to be shared in the North.  We look forward to working cooperatively with Parks Canada into the future to ensure the protection of these two wreck sites.” 

Fred Pedersen
Chair of the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee

Quick Facts

  • The Government of the United Kingdom announced the intent to gift the shipwrecks of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to Canada in October 2017.  In 2016 the Government of Canada announced its commitment to co-ownership of the Franklin artifacts with the Inuit of Nunavut.

  • The Canada National Parks Act provides for the listing of national historic sites under the National Historic Sites of Canada Order by setting land apart in order to commemorate a historic event of national importance or preserve a historic landmark, or any object of historic, prehistoric or scientific interest, that is of national importance.  The Canada National Parks Act and its regulations provide a legal framework to protect historic sites.  Parks Canada’s Law Enforcement Branch investigates violations of the Act and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible for prosecuting individuals who violate the Act.

  • The wreck of HMS Terror is located in the Kitikmeot Region on the southwestern shore of King William Island in Terror Bay.  The closest community to the site is the Hamlet of Gjoa Haven.

  • Parks Canada and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association are currently negotiating an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement, as required under the Nunavut Agreement. This will be the first agreement between the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and Parks Canada. Until the Agreement is in place, the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee has been established to advise Parks Canada on the protection and presentation of the wrecks.

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Contacts

Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
613-462-5473
marie-pascale.desrosiers@canada.ca

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca


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