Biography

Born at L'Islet, Québec on January 1, 1852, Joseph-Elzéar Bernier, son of Thomas Bernier and Henriette-Célina Paradis, was best known for the expeditions he commanded for the Canadian government to extend sovereignty over large areas of the Arctic. He led an expedition to Hudson Bay (1904-1905) and three expeditions to the High Arctic (1906-1907, 1908-1909, 1910-1911), all aboard the Arctic. From 1912 until 1918 he was engaged in private trading, with a fur trading post in northern Baffin Island. Coming out of retirement, Bernier was again captain of the Arctic for four summer voyages beginning in 1922, the beginning of a series of official voyages known as the Eastern Arctic Patrol. Bernier was married twice, to Rose Caron (November 1870) and to Alma Lemieux (July 1919). He and his first wife adopted his godchild, Almina Caron. Bernier died on December 26, 1934. His autobiography, Master Mariner and Arctic Explorer, was published posthumously in 1939.

Kenn Harper

See also Race to the North Pole; Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

Further Reading

Report on the Dominion Government Expedition to Arctic Islands and the Hudson Strait on board the C.G.S. "Arctic"

1906-1907, Ottawa: King's Printer, 1909 Report on the Dominion Government Expedition to the Northern Waters and Arctic Archipelago of the D. G. S. "Arctic" in 1910 Under Command of J.E. Bernier, Officer in Charge and Fishery Officer, Ottawa: Department of Marine and Fisheries, n.d. Report on the Dominion of Canada Government Expedition to the Arctic Islands and Hudson Strait on board the D.G.S. Arctic. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1910 Bernier, Captain J.E., Master Mariner and Arctic Explorer,

Ottawa: Privately Printed, 1939 Dorion-Robitaille, Yolande, Captain J.E. Bernier's Contribution to Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic, Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs, Government of Canada, 1978 Finnie, Richard, "Farewell voyages: Bernier and the 'Arctic'."

The Beaver (summer) (1974): 44-54 Morrison, William R., Showing the Flag: The Mounted Police and Canadian Sovereignty in the North, 1894-1925, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1985 Tremblay, Alfred, Cruise of the Minnie Maud, Québec: The

Arctic Exchange and Publishing Limited, 1921 Zaslow, Morris, The Opening of the Canadian North 1870-1914, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971

-, The Northward Expansion of Canada, 1914-1967,

Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1988

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