The removal of the partially submerged ship — the Maud — is on track for next summer but a memorial will mark its place in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
To some in the hamlet, the Norwegians' plan to bring the ship back to Norway feels like a piece of history being taken.
But Jan Wanggaard, the Norwegian artist and historian leading the initiative, is leaving something behind.
Mary Avelak is an elder who grew up close by to where the Maud has sat, waterbound, for almost 80 years. She said she is blown away by the massive seven-foot-high rock structure Wanggaard built.
"I really like it — I love it. I'm glad they're not leaving it with just nothing and just crappy like that," said Avelak.
Avelak's sentiment is echoed in the community. Jeannie Evalik was also born and raised there. She remembers playing around the old wood beams which stuck out of the frozen bay.
"Like at least leave a monument for us to remember of the Maud," she said.
Wanggaard built the monument by hand, carefully stacking rock on top of rock.
"For me, it's natural to do it, it's not a give and take sort of thing," he said.
Wanggaard said the rock structure, called a cairn, is a Norwegian-style memorial.
Norwegian Explorer Roald Amundsen sailed the Maud for a few years before selling to the Hudson's Bay Company, which used it as barge until it sank in 1930.