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Inuit Heritage Trust and Parks Canada ink deal on fate of Franklin artifacts

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OTTAWA — Parks Canada and the Inuit Heritage Trust have come to an agreement on how the artifacts from the ill-fated Franklin expedition will be preserved and studied.

All artifacts from the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror will be protected based on traditional Inuit knowledge and presented publicly from an Inuit perspective.

Every effort will be made to have the artifacts displayed in Nunavut under the agreement signed Monday.

Any museums or cultural institutions that want to study or exhibit the artifacts plucked from the sunken shipwrecks will only be able to do so on a temporary basis.

Sir John Franklin and 129 men left England on the two ships in 1845 on a search for a northern passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The ships, however, became ice-bound and were abandoned by the crew, none of whom returned to England, causing mystery that lingered for about 170 years until Canadian divers located the wrecks in 2014 and 2016.

The Canadian Press

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