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Houses on the outskirts of a village, with a hill covered with snow and some trees in the background, at sunset.

The People

View of Kuujjuaq

Communities

Map of Nunavik

Map of Nunavik

Nunavik is constituted by 14 communities scattered along the outlying coastal regions of a territory covering over 500 000km2. Here is an interactive map presenting information on the history, population and ecology of each of these communities.


Map of Kangiqsualujjuaq

Kangiqsualujjuaq
«  Very large bay »

58°42'41"N
065°59'37"O

Altitude: 66m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 629,8 km2
Geographic location: 25 km from the east coast of Ungava Bay, at the mouth of the George River.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 944
Growth rate (2011-2015): 7,0%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 93,6%

Origin of name: Refers to Akilasakalluq, one of the coves along the George River.

History: At three different periods between 1838 and 1932, the Hudson's Bay Company operated a post just south of the present village. It wasn't until 1959 that local Inuit set up Nunavik's first co-operative, which marketed Arctic char. In 1962, the village was built and, over the following years, government buildings, a school and a co-op store were added.

Year legally established as a village: 1980

Formerly known as: George River, Port-Nouveau-Québec


Map of Kuujjuaq

Kuujjuaq
« Great river »

58°05'46"N
068°25'37"O

Altitude: 39m
Vegetation zone: forest tundra
Size: 630,7 km2
Geographic location: 50 km from Ungava Bay, on the west bank of the Koksoak River.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 2644
Growth rate (2011-2015): 10,0%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 76,0%

Origin of name: Refers to the Koksoak River.

History: In 1811, Moravian missionaries founded a mission in the area with the intention of converting the Inuit to Christianity. Later, in 1830, a Hudson's Bay Company trading post was established a few kilometres from the present village. The post became a hub of local trade, as Inuit, Montagnais and Naskapi came here to exchange furs.

In 1942, the U.S. Air Force set a base, Crystal 1, that was ceded to the Canadian government at the end of World War II. A Catholic mission was founded in 1948, followed by a nursing station, a school and a weather station. In 1961, the co-operative was started.

Year legally established as a village: 1979

Formerly known as: Fort Chimo


Map of Tasiujaq

Tasiujaq
«  Which resembles a lake »

58°40'04"N
069°57'21"O

Altitude: 37m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 633,9 km2
Geographic location: On the shores of Leaf Lake, at the head of Deep Harbour.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 354
Growth rate (2011-2015): 16,1%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 93,4%

Origin of name: Refers to the basin formed by Leaf Lake, Leaf Passage and Leaf Bay.

History: Posts were opened at this spot by Révillon Frères and the Hudson's Bay Company in 1905 and 1907, respectively. In 1963, the New Quebec Branch established a village that attracted a good number of Inuit, who found plenty of wildlife in the area. In 1971, the inhabitants of Tasiujaq set up an independent co-operative, which is today a member of the Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec (FCNQ).

Year legally established as a village: 1980

Formerly known as: Leaf Bay, Baie-aux-Feuilles


Map of Aupaluk

Aupaluk
«  Where the earth is red »

59°17'48"N
069°35'59"O

Altitude: 36m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 630,4 km2
Geographic location: On the shores of Hopes Advance Bay.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 215
Growth rate (2011-2015): 8,6%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 89,7%

Origin of name: Refers to the colour of the soil, which is rich in iron.

History: This region is known for its abundant marine and terrestrial wildlife. When Inuit from other Nunavik communities settled here permanently in 1975, it became the first Canadian Arctic village to be founded entirely by Inuit. The co-op store opened its doors in the early 1980s.

Year legally established as a village: 1981


Map of Kangirsuk

Kangirsuk
«  The bay »

60°01'38"N
069°59'57"O

Altitude: 123m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 629,6 km2
Geographic location: At the mouth of the Arnaud River, on Payne Bay.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 608
Growth rate (2011-2015): 9,7%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 92,7%

Origin of name: Refers to Payne Bay.

History: In the 1920s, Révillon Frères and the Hudson's Bay Company established trading posts in the region. In 1959, a federal school opened its doors; a few years later, in 1961, social, health and housing services arrived. An Anglican mission was founded in 1965 and a co-operative opened in 1966.

Year legally established as a village: 1981

Formerly known as: Payne Bay, Bellin


Map of Quaqtaq

Quaqtaq
« Tapeworm »

61°02'48"N
069°3701"O

Altitude: 31m
Vegetation zone: herbaceous arctic tundra
Size: 582,4 km2
Geographic location: On the eastern shore of Diana Bay (Tuvaaluk, in Inuktitut, meaning "a very large expanse of solid sea ice" in English), on a peninsula where Ungava Bay and Hudson Strait meet.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 426
Growth rate (2011-2015): 12,4%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 90,7%

Origin of name: According to a local legend, a beluga hunter who was passing through the region was infected with an intestinal parasite, probably as a result of eating contaminated raw meat. Because of this, his companions decided to call the place Quaqtaq.

History: Archaeological research indicates that humans occupied this place 3500 years ago. There are also signs that the Thule lived here as of 500-600 BP. Starting in 1927, there was a period of about twenty years in which the region around present-day Quaqtaq saw a succession of various trading posts run by Révillon Frères, the Hudson's Bay Company and the Baffin Trading Company, as well as by an independent trader. A Catholic mission was established at Quaqtaq in 1947. In 1952, a measles epidemic carried off 10% of the population. It was only after this tragedy that the government began to provide basic health care for the residents. The 1960s saw the arrival of a nursing station, a store and a post office with a radiophone.

Year legally established as a village: 1978

Formerly known as: Nuvukutaaq (the long point), Notre-Dame-de-Koartac


Map of Kangiqsujuaq

Kangiqsujuaq
« The large bay »

61°35'19"N
071°55'46"O

Altitude: 153m
Vegetation zone: herbaceous arctic tundra
Size: 606,7 km2

Geographic location: On the southeast shore of Wakeham Bay, 10k m from Hudson Strait.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 771
Growth rate (2011-2015): 9,7%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 92,1%

Origin of name: Refers to Wakeham Bay.

History: Révillon Frères established a post here in 1910; another one was opened in 1914 by the Hudson's Bay Company, which also ran a fox-breeding farm from 1928 to 1940. In 1936, a Catholic mission was founded. Between 1960 and 1961, the village was provided with a school and then a nursing station. An Anglican mission was founded in 1963. The village opened its co-operative in 1970.

Year legally established as a village: 1980

Formerly known as: Wakeham Bay, Sainte-Anne-de-Maricourt


Map of Salluit

Salluit
« The thin ones »

62°10'46"N
075°40'02"O

Altitude: 226m
Vegetation zone: herbaceous arctic tundra
Size: 625,7 km2
Geographic location: At the head of Salluit fjord, 10 km from Hudson Strait.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 1445
Growth rate (2011-2015): 6,3%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 93,4%

Origin of name: Legend has it that Inuit were attracted to the region with the promise of abundant wildlife. The situation turned out to be quite different and the newcomers suffered famine.

History: Archaeological excavations show that the region was occupied by Dorsets from 2 800 to 1 000 BP. Between 1925 and 1936, a succession of trading posts were established here. A Catholic mission, founded in 1930, operated for some twenty years. An Anglican mission was set up in 1955. In the late 1950s, a school was built, along with new houses. By the end of the 1960s, a co-operative had opened its doors.

Year legally established as a village: 1979

Formerly known as: Sugluk


Map of Ivujivik

Ivujivik
«  Place where ice accumulates because of strong currents »

62°25'02"N
077°53'31"O

Altitude: 38m
Vegetation zone: herbaceous arctic tundra
Size: 524,9 km2
Geographic location: The most northerly village in Nunavik. Located at the head of a cove sheltered by cliffs that rise above Digges Sound, where Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay meet.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 395
Growth rate (2011-2015): 6,2%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 94,6%

Origin of name: Refers to the turbulent waters of Digges Sound.

History: The region has been occupied since 4 000 BP. The earliest contact between the Inuit and Europeans occurred in 1610, when Henry Hudson made his final voyage. A Hudson's Bay Company post opened here in 1909, and a Catholic mission operated between 1938 and 1960. From 1947 onward, Inuit gradually settled around these two institutions. The co-op store opened its doors in 1967.

Year legally established as a village: 1981

Formerly known as: Notre-Dame d'Ivugivik, Cape Wolstenholme


Map of Akulivik

Akulivik
« Central prong of a kakivak »

60°49'07"N
078°08'55"O

Altitude: 23m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 558,3 km2
Geographic location: On a peninsula that extends into Hudson Bay between the Illukotat River to the south and a deep bay to the north.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 684
Growth rate (2011-2015): 10,3%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 95,1%

Origin of name: The topography calls to mind a kakivak, or traditional Inuit fish spear.

History: The region has been occupied for several thousand years. Between 1922 and 1952, the Hudson's Bay Company opened a succession of trading posts, but abandoned the inhabitants without supplies when they closed the last one. Some people moved to Puvirnituq, but those that could not were left behind. In 1973, families that had left gradually returned to rebuild their community. Year legally established as a village: 1979

Formerly known as: Cape Smith


Map of Puvirnituq

Puvirnituq
« Place where there is a smell of rotten meat »

60°03'02"N
077°17'13"O

Altitude: 23m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 626,5 km2
Geographic location: On the north shore of the Puvirnituq River, which flows to the north shore of Puvirnituq Bay, on Hudson Bay.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 1824
Growth rate (2011-2015): 7,1%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 92,9%

Origin of name: Two legends are proposed to explain the name. According to one, a herd of caribou tried to cross the river and many of them were swept away by the current and perished. The carcasses washed up on the shore near the village and rotted there. The second legend recounts a tragic epidemic that killed almost everyone in the village, sparing so few that there were not enough survivors to bury the dead. A horrible stench is said to have arisen from the decaying corpses.

History: The Hudson's Bay Company established a post here in 1921, followed by a general store in 1951. When the Akulivik post closed in 1952, the residents of this community were obliged to move to Puvirnituq. A Catholic mission, which opened in 1956, encouraged the inhabitants to found the Carvers' Association of Povungnituk, which eventually became the Co-operative Association of Povungnituk.

Year legally established as a village: 1989

Formerly known as: Povungnituk


Map of Inukjuak

Inukjuak
« Many people arriving in qajaq »

58°28'19"N
078°04'37"O

Altitude: 25m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 561,2 km2
Geographic location: On the north shore of the Innuksuak River, on Hudson Bay.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 1733
Growth rate (2011-2015): 7,0%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 95,3%

Origin of name: Refers to a moment in the community"s history where the inhabitants saw a great number of people arriving from the water in qajaqs. They they all cheered "Inukjuak! Inukjuak!", which means "many people arriving on qajjaq".

History: Archaeological excavations reveal that the region has been inhabited for thousands of years. Révillon Frères opened a post here in the early 20th century. A Hudson's Bay Company post followed in 1920. In 1936, Révillon Frères was bought by the Hudson's Bay Company, which remained in the region until 1958. An Anglican mission was established in 1927, and a post office and Royal Canadian Mounted Police station opened in 1935. The village was provided with a nursing station in 1947 and a school in 1951. The co-operative opened its doors in 1962.

In 1953, the Canadian government forced part of the population to relocate to Grise Fjord and Resolute, some 2 000 km north of Inukjuak, in the High Arctic, invoking the need to establish a Canadian presence there. The difficulties of adapting to extreme conditions and the separation of families caused much suffering. In 1996, the government offered financial compensation and a statement of reconciliation to the survivors of this relocalization and to their descendants.

Year legally established as a village: 1980

Formerly known as: Port Harrison


Map of Umiujaq

Umiujaq
« Which resembles a boat »

56°32'10"N
076°31'06"O

Altitude: 76m
Vegetation zone: shrub vegetation arctic tundra
Size: 571 km2
Geographic location: Near the shores of Hudson Bay, 15 km from Lake Guillaume-Delisle (Tasiujaq), an immense inland bay.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 454
Growth rate (2011-2015): 1,3%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 93,6%

Origin of name: the village sits at the foot of a hill that resembles an umiaq, a traditional Inuit boat.

History: A clause in the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement provided for the removal of Inuit from Kuujjuarapik to the Lake Guillaume-Delisle region. A new community was thus created in 1986 so that the inhabitants could maintain their traditional way of life in an environment where game and fish were not threatened.

Year legally established as a village: 1986


Map of Kuujjuarapik

Kuujjuarapik
« Little great river »

55°16'55"N
077°45'55"O

Altitude: 10m
Vegetation zone: lichen-spruce forest
Size: 15,3 km2
Geographic location: The southernmost village in Nunavik, Kuujjuarapik is located at the mouth of the Great Whale River, on the shores of Hudson Bay.

Population (July 1, 2015 data): 707
Growth rate (2011-2015): 6,3%
Inuit population in 2011 (%): 75,6%

Origin of name: Refers to Great Whale River

History: Inhabited by two communities (Inuit and Cree), Kuujjuarapik also bears the name Whapmagoostui, meaning "where there are whales" in the Cree language. The region has been occupied since 2 800 BP by the ancestors of both the Inuit and the Cree.

In 1820, the Hudson's Bay Company opened a post there while it was still called Kuujjuaq in Inuktitut (known as Great Whale River in English) where the village stands today. An Anglican mission was founded in 1882, followed by a Catholic mission in 1890.

During World War II, the U.S. Army used this spot to build a military base and airport, which were eventually transferred to the Canadian government in 1948. A line of military radar stations was constructed in 1955; they were closed in 1965. Since a clause in the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement provided for moving Inuit from Kuujjuarapik to the Lake Guillaume-Delisle region, a good number of the inhabitants went to settle at Umiujaq, fearing the environmental impact of the Great Whale hydroelectric project.

Year legally established as a village: 1980

Formerly known as: Kuujjuaq, Great Whale River, Poste-de-la-Baleine

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