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Hi I am Peter Henson – I live in the north of Greenland.

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Presentation on theme: "Hi I am Peter Henson – I live in the north of Greenland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hi I am Peter Henson – I live in the north of Greenland.
I am a unique individual – and my family story is amazing…. Let me tell you about it… And about my links to the wider world

2 I live in Qaanaaq with my extended family who are nearly all Inuit / American descendents.

3 This is the small settlement of Qaanaaq with its colourful wooden homes with iron sheet roofs. You can sea the icebergs floating in the sea behind them.

4 Qaanaaq has the most northerly restaurant in the world!!

5 The hunting of seals, polar bears, birds, narwhals and walrus provides the only means of survival in
a community which consists of one town with around 600 inhabitants and five settlements. The settlement of Siorapaluk is the northernmost community on earth, and is also well-known as the fictitious birthplace of Miss Smilla in the novel and film Smilla's Sense of Snow.

6 This is me – a Polar Inuit waiting at a seal breathing hole
with my harpoon at a seal breathing hole in the sea ice at sunset.

7 Qaanaaq – is in the north of the country called north Greenland
Nuuk – main town – capital of Greenland

8 Qaanaaq is in the country called Greenland
Nuuk is the capital of Greenland. The missionary Hans Egede founded Nuuk in 1728 as the very first town in Greenland.  Greenland has been semi-autonomous since 1979, but Denmark remains in charge of foreign and defence policy for the 56,000 islanders.

9 This is Greenland This is the USA My great grandfather is really famous To many people he is a role model - a hero!

10 My great grandfather was Matthew A. Henson
– I am Peter Henson remember. He was a polar explorer

11 This is my great grandmother
Akatingwah when Matthew left Greenland for the last time in 1909 he never returned so never saw my grandfather … his then unborn son Anaukaq

12 Matthew returned to New York
He married a girl called Lucy Ross. They lived together for 50 years but they had no children So we Greenland Hensons are his only surviving blood relations

13 In 1909 - my great grandfather Matthew Henson was the first man to reach the North Pole
He got there 45 minutes before his colleague – Robert Peary.

14 Matthew Henson Matthew’s achievements were ignored for a long time His co-explorer Robert Peary got all the credit Because Peary was a superior officer and Peary was white Robert Peary

15 Matthew was a Black American.
It wasn't until 1937, at age seventy, that Henson got some of the attention he deserved. In that year he was made an honorary member of the famed Explorers Club in New York.

16 On April 6th 1988 Matthew and Roses’ bodies were reinterred with full Presidential Honours in Arlington National Cemetery.

17 April 6, 1909 American explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reach the top of the world.
Now All American children Black, White and Inuit learn about both heroes.

18 ". even if he is a negro, is an American
"...even if he is a negro, is an American..." In 1909 the newspapers were ‘racist’ in their attitude to this story. For Black Americans reading Henson’s story was life changing His life story blew my mind. And convinced me that black people could be heroes too.

19 Matthew is a hero now And we his surviving descendants are proud of him We live on in Greenland and we are proud of Akatingwah too.

20 It is a small world And everyone has their place in it We all depend on each other And must get on together There is nowhere else to go.

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