Claude Kataktovick was one of the most memorable people in Bob Bartlett’s life. The 19 year-old Inupiat man accompanied Bartlett on the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition (CAE). The CAE turned out to be disastrous in many ways with significant loss of life following the sinking of the Karluk, skippered by Bartlett. Claude was one of the people that Bartlett depended on to keep the survivors alive. In 1914, his ice travel and hunting skills were critical on Bartlett’s 700 mile journey over Chukchi Sea ice-fields and snowy Siberia to effect a rescue of the Karluk survivors. Claude was from Port Barrow, Alaska and a committed Christian, once writing of his love for Jesus. Still a teenager, he was a widower and the father of a little girl, whose grandmother cared for her when Claude was with the CAE. His hometown was Port Barrow, Alaska, pictured below.
Claude features prominently in my forthcoming book Unchained Man: The Arctic Life and Times of Robert Abram Bartlett .