Inukjuak (Inuktitut: ᐃᓄᒃᔪᐊᒃ) (Inuktitut for The Giant) is a northern village (Inuit community) located on Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Innuksuak River in Nunavik, in the Nord-du-Québec region of northern Quebec, Canada. Its population is 1,757 as of the 2016 Canadian Census. An older spelling is Inoucdjouac; its former name was Port Harrison.
|Coordinates: 58°27′N 78°06′W|
|Constituted||7 June 1980|
|• Mayor||Siasi Iqrumia|
|• Federal riding||Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou|
|• Prov. riding||Ungava|
|• Total||64.40 km2 (24.86 sq mi)|
|• Land||55.63 km2 (21.48 sq mi)|
|• Density||31.6/km2 (82/sq mi)|
|• Change (2011–16)||10.0%|
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (EDT)|
It is not accessible by road, but by boat in summer and year-round by air through Inukjuak Airport.
The police services for Inukjuak are provided by the Kativik Regional Police Force, which has one police station in the village.
"The Giant" is the literal translation of the word Inukjuak, but originally it was Inurjuat, which means "many people". In the past there was an Inuk (singular for the word Inuit) who went down to the river of Inukjuak to fetch some water. While there, the person saw many Inuit in kayaks approaching from the mouth of the river, and then yelled back out to the community "Inurjuat! Inurjuat!". That is where the name for the community comes from.
The many archeological sites near Inukjuak indicate that the area has long been inhabited by Inuit.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Révillon Frères company set up a fur trading post in Inukjuak, originally called Port Harrison. In order to compete with them, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) established a post in 1920. In the same year Révillon Frères paid for Robert J. Flaherty to film Nanook of the North (released 1922) in the area.
The HBC bought out Révillon Frères in 1936 and continued its trade monopoly here until 1958. In 1927 an Anglican mission was established, followed by a post office and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment in 1935, a nursing station in 1947, and a school in 1951. From this time on the Inuit started to give up their traditional nomadic way of life and live permanently in the community. A cooperative store was formed in 1962. Inukjuak was legally established as a municipality in 1980.
In 1953, the Canadian government controversially relocated some of the area's inhabitants to Resolute and Grise Fiord—then in the Northwest Territories, but now part of Nunavut. The relocation has been described as a humanitarian gesture to save the lives of starving native people and enable them to continue a subsistence lifestyle and conversely described as a forced migration as part of a plan to establish a Canadian presence in the High Arctic and assert its sovereignty with human flagpoles. This relocation caused families to be split up and relocated persons faced hardships in the much more severe conditions of the far north.
Artist Leah Nuvalinga Qumaluk was born in Inukjuak in 1934.
Despite its bitterly cold climate, Inukjuak is actually not very far north – especially for an area above the tree line. It is by North American standards located far south of warm-summer inland areas like Yellowknife and Fairbanks where vegetation thrives. Being on the 58th parallel it is located closer to the equator than cities like Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Saint Petersburg, all of which have far gentler year-round climates. It is also on the same parallel as the extremely mild northern tip of mainland Scotland (Thurso). With the North American population centres being further south due to the cold climate it still lies far north of provincial centres Montreal and Quebec City, being located in the distant wilderness from the majority of Quebec's population. It also lies at a distance from Nunavik's largest population centre Kuujjuaq that is on a similar latitude but further to the east.
Inukjuak has a polar climate with a July average of 9.4 °C (48.9 °F) and February average of −25.8 °C (−14.4 °F). The climate is influenced by the freezing of the shallow Hudson Bay combined with extremely moderated summers with very pronounced seasonal lag as the bay thaws. As a result, Inukjuak gets an extremely cold climate for the latitude, especially considering its maritime position. On similar latitudes in Scandinavia in northern Europe, or the northern most tip of mainland Scotland the summers are close to 10 °C (18 °F) warmer and winters are around the freezing point – demonstrating the extreme chilliness of the climate.
For example, Stockholm is 14.6 °C (26.3 °F) warmer annually, in spite of being a full degree farther north. Maritime climates in northern Scotland such as Thurso even make the mark of being 15 °C (27 °F) milder annually on the same latitude. Even compared to geographically analogous locations in the Russian Far East, Inukjuak has an annual mean 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) colder than Aldan and 4.3 °C (7.7 °F) colder than Magadan, whilst receiving about an hour less sunshine each day than those two localities. Due to the cold summers, Inukjuak is above the tree line despite lying more than 3,500 km (2,200 mi) from the pole.
Temperatures in Inukjuak are below freezing from mid-October to late May – the pronounced seasonal lag means May averages colder than October, April colder than November, and March colder than December. Only during a freakish warm wave on 5 December 1923 has Inukjuak recorded a temperature above 10 °C (50 °F) between November and April, while January has only topped freezing in 1940. During the early winter snowfall is very heavy, averaging 50 cm (20 in) in November but tapering off somewhat as the freezing of Hudson Bay completes and reduces the availability of moisture. The most monthly snowfall has been 155 cm (61 in) in November 1933 and the most in one day 43 cm (17 in) on 11 November 1934, whilst the highest depth of snow on the ground has been 179 cm (70 in) on 14 April 1955.
Snow usually melts when temperatures rise above freezing late in May, with typically only 7 cm (2.8 in) remaining on the ground at the beginning of June. Summer weather in Inukjuak, due to the cool Hudson Bay and prevailing cyclonic weather, is generally damp and unsettled, with rainfall especially frequent in August and September as the bay thaws completely: these months expect rain on more than half the days. Occasional spells of hot weather occur when the wind drives air from the hotter continent onto the coast: the record high temperature is 30 °C (86 °F) on 8 June 1955. By the end of September temperatures are already falling to near freezing and October sees the beginning of the long winter and a return to heavy snow drive by the western side of the Icelandic Low.
|Climate data for Inukjuak|
|Record high humidex||−0.6||2.4||4.4||6.5||16.0||32.4||34.0||28.4||19.8||12.2||7.2||1.4||34.0|
|Record high °C (°F)||0.6
|Average high °C (°F)||−21.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−24.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−28.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−46.1
|Record low wind chill||−60||−58||−55||−46||−36||−15||−7||−5||−12||−31||−47||−55||−60|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||14.4
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||0.0
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||15.0
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||0.09||0.04||0.09||1.2||4.5||8.5||12.8||15.1||16.2||8.6||1.2||0.13||68.5|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||10.8||9.2||9.3||9.9||8.4||3.6||0.26||0.13||5.0||15.6||20.3||15.3||107.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||63.5||122.5||182.5||183.2||159.4||209.4||226.0||171.7||97.9||50.4||31.8||35.2||1,533.5|
|Percent possible sunshine||28.6||46.7||49.9||42.5||30.6||38.4||41.6||36.0||25.4||15.8||13.4||17.5||32.2|
|Source: Environment Canada|
The Kativik School Board operates the Innalik School and the Vocational Education at Nunavimmi Pigiursavik Centre. Adl.
- Reference number 98657 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (in French)
- Geographic code 99085 in the official Répertoire des municipalités (in French)
- "(Code 2499085) Census Profile". 2016 census. Statistics Canada. 2017.
- Native Names for Native Places, Natural Resources Canada.
- KRPF. "General Information". Home. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- Jules Heller; Nancy G. Heller (19 December 2013). North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-63882-5.
- INUKJUAK UA, Climate Data 1922-1994 (.csv file)
- "Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
- "Our Schools." Kativik School Board. Retrieved on 23 September 2017.
- Melanie McGrath, The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. ISBN 0-00-715796-7 (London: Fourth Estate, 2006) and ISBN 1-4000-4047-7 (New York: Random House, 2007). The story of forced removal of Inuit peoples in Canada in 1953, including Robert Flaherty's illegitimate Inuit son Joseph.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Inukjuak.|