Aklavik

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Aklavik
Akłarvik
Hamlet
Skyline of Aklavik
Flag of Aklavik
Flag
Motto: Never Say Die[1]
Aklavik is located in Northwest Territories
Aklavik
Aklavik
Coordinates: 68°13′13″N 135°00′42″W / 68.22028°N 135.01167°W / 68.22028; -135.01167Coordinates: 68°13′13″N 135°00′42″W / 68.22028°N 135.01167°W / 68.22028; -135.01167
Country Canada
Territory Northwest Territories
Region Inuvik Region
Constituency Mackenzie Delta
Census division Region 1
Incorporated (hamlet) 1 January 1974
Government
 • Mayor Arny Steinwand
 • Senior Administrative Officer Evelyn Storr
 • MLA David Krutko
Area[2]
 • Land 14.47 km2 (5.59 sq mi)
Elevation 7 m (23 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 633
 • Density 43.7/km2 (113/sq mi)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC6)
Canadian Postal code X0E 0A0
Area code(s) 867
Telephone exchange 375 878 978
- Living cost 167.5A
- Food price index 174.1B
Website www.aklavik.ca
Sources:
Department of Municipal and Community Affairs[3]
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre[4]
Canada Flight Supplement[5]
^A 2009 figure based on Edmonton = 100[6]
^B 2010 figure based on Yellowknife = 100[6]

Aklavik /əˈklævɪk/ (from the Inuvialuktun meaning barrenground grizzly place[4]) is a hamlet located in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Until 1961, the community served as the regional administrative centre for the territorial government. Building conditions at the time considered to be unsuitable resulted in the development of Inuvik to the east, meant to entirely replace Aklavik. However, many residents have persevered and kept Aklavik as a community. The mayor of Aklavik is Arny Steinwand, whose term ends in 2016.[3]

History[edit]

The community

Aklavik began in the early 1900s with the Hudson's Bay Company opening a trading post in 1912 and the Roman Catholic Church establishing a mission in 1926. Located on the Peel Channel, in a good trapping area, the community became a transportation hub in the Mackenzie.

Aklavik became part of the Northwest Territories and Yukon (NWT&Y) Radio system in October 1925. The NWT&Y system, a true pioneer system, was critical in providing communications in Canada's north. and was operated by the Royal Canadian Signal Corps (RC Sigs). In Alkavik, besides providing services to the general population, NWT&Y also provided communication for any aircraft that overflew the site with or without radio. An aircraft without radio that was simply passing over one of these stations and not destined to land would simply fly very low over the station so that it could be identified and the date and time of its passing would be recorded. The call sign for the NWT & Y station in Alkavik was VEF.

In 1931, Albert Johnson, also known as the "Mad Trapper of Rat River" moved into the area. A complaint was made to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police post in Aklavik and the two members attempted, unsuccessfully, to talk with him concerning trapline tampering. A second attempt was made a few days later, after a search warrant had been obtained, and Johnson shot one of the RCMP. This sparked a 42-day manhunt and ended with the death of Johnson. This incident is famous for introducing the airplane and communications radio as tools to help track a person. Museums dedicated to Albert Johnson can be found in Aklavik and in Fort Smith.

In December 1946, radio station "CHAK" went on the air at Aklavik. The AK in the call sign was the first and last letters of the location. Built and initially operated by WO2 R.A. (Red) McLeod of the RC Sigs, the station was a voluntary operation serving the Mackenzie River delta. It initially had 30 watts of power, later upgraded to 100 watts, and operated on 1490 kHz. It received its license in 1947.

In 1949, the Royal Canadian Navy established a signals intelligence station in Aklavik. It remained operational until March 1961 when it closed down and operations were moved to a brand new station in Inuvik.

By the 1950s the community had developed and grown to over 1,600 people. However, the Peel Channel was subject to flooding, and the river banks were being washed away. Due to the flooding, the Federal Government built a new community at what is now Inuvik, with the intention of closing Aklavik.[4]

In the 1960s, the principal of Aklavik's school, A. J. (Moose) Kerr, started a committee to help save the community. The efforts were successful and the community survived. The local school is named for him.[7]

Today[edit]

Sidewalks in Aklavik

The community has a school with approximately 150 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12[8] and Aurora College provides adult education at the Community Learning Centre.[9]

There are two general stores, the Aklavik General Store and the Northern Store operated by The North West Company.[9] The community has a two person RCMP detachment, a health centre with four nurses, a Canada Post outlet, the Aklavik Lodge and the Aklavik Inn (Bessie's Boarding House) for visitor accommodation and two taxi companies.[9]

Like most northern communities, Aklavik has a community hall, a gymnasium that is attached to the school and, uncommonly, a swimming pool.[7]

The community is served only by air, via the Aklavik/Freddie Carmichael Airport, and by winter ice road directly from Inuvik across the streams of the Mackenzie Delta. When the river is open, usually June to September,[10] the Aklavik Water Aerodrome is available for float planes.

Land claims[edit]

Mad Trapper grave

Aklavik is one of the few places in the NWT to be included within two different land claims areas, being part of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Gwich'in Settlement Region.[11][12]

The Inuvialuit, whose claim, the Inuvialuit Final Agreement was settled in 1984,[13] are represented by the Aklavik Community Corporation which in turn forms part of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.[14]

The Gwich’in of Aklavik are covered under the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, signed in 1992,[15] and are represented by the Ehdiitat Gwich'in Council.[16] The Ehdiitat Gwich'in Council in turn forms part of the Gwich'in Tribal Council.[17]

Aboriginal peoples[edit]

The Inuvialuit of Aklavik are primarily Uummarmiut and are descendants of the Nunatamiut, Inupiat people who migrated from Alaska in the early 20th century. Although at first antagonistic they later intermarried with the local Siglit, whose numbers had dwindled due to disease.[18] They speak Uummarmiutun, which is almost identical to Inupiaq language but is grouped with Inuvialuktun.[19]

The Gwich’in are an Arctic-dwelling Dene peoples who inhabit Alaska, Yukon and the NWT. They speak the Gwich’in language which is part of the Athabaskan language family.[20]

Both Inuvialuktun and Gwich’in are official languages of the NWT, and in 2009 19.2% of the Aboriginal population spoke at least one Native language.[6][21]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Aklavik Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex 10.5 2.0 8.1 16.6 27.8 35.7 35.5 33.8 26.5 16.4 4.3 5.5 35.7
Record high °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
9.4
(48.9)
11.0
(51.8)
14.2
(57.6)
25.0
(77)
31.8
(89.2)
33.9
(93)
31.9
(89.4)
27.6
(81.7)
17.0
(62.6)
6.7
(44.1)
10.0
(50)
33.9
(93)
Average high °C (°F) −22.3
(−8.1)
−21.7
(−7.1)
−16.4
(2.5)
−6.7
(19.9)
4.6
(40.3)
16.5
(61.7)
18.4
(65.1)
15.0
(59)
7.6
(45.7)
−4.9
(23.2)
−17.0
(1.4)
−20.9
(−5.6)
−4.0
(24.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) −26.3
(−15.3)
−25.7
(−14.3)
−21.7
(−7.1)
−12.5
(9.5)
−0.1
(31.8)
11.4
(52.5)
13.9
(57)
10.9
(51.6)
4.4
(39.9)
−7.6
(18.3)
−20.7
(−5.3)
−24.7
(−12.5)
−8.2
(17.2)
Average low °C (°F) −30.2
(−22.4)
−29.8
(−21.6)
−27.0
(−16.6)
−18.2
(−0.8)
−4.8
(23.4)
6.2
(43.2)
9.4
(48.9)
6.8
(44.2)
1.2
(34.2)
−10.2
(13.6)
−24.2
(−11.6)
−28.4
(−19.1)
−12.4
(9.7)
Record low °C (°F) −51.0
(−59.8)
−52.2
(−62)
−48.9
(−56)
−42.2
(−44)
−25.6
(−14.1)
−6.7
(19.9)
−11.1
(12)
−3.9
(25)
−14.0
(6.8)
−35.1
(−31.2)
−45.6
(−50.1)
−47.8
(−54)
−52.2
(−62)
Wind chill −59.8 −61.5 −52.8 −46.0 −31.5 −11.4 0.0 −6.0 −16.4 −41.1 −49.7 −56.4 −61.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 15.0
(0.591)
11.9
(0.469)
13.8
(0.543)
8.0
(0.315)
14.8
(0.583)
19.4
(0.764)
40.6
(1.598)
41.7
(1.642)
30.6
(1.205)
32.6
(1.283)
22.0
(0.866)
15.6
(0.614)
265.8
(10.465)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.004)
5.4
(0.213)
18.5
(0.728)
40.6
(1.598)
41.3
(1.626)
23.7
(0.933)
0.3
(0.012)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
129.8
(5.11)
Snowfall cm (inches) 15.0
(5.91)
11.9
(4.69)
13.8
(5.43)
8.0
(3.15)
9.5
(3.74)
0.9
(0.35)
0.0
(0)
0.4
(0.16)
6.9
(2.72)
32.3
(12.72)
22.2
(8.74)
15.6
(6.14)
136.3
(53.66)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 7.8 7.8 7.1 5.3 5.8 7.1 10.8 11.3 12.5 11.6 9.9 8.9 105.8
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 6.7 10.8 11.3 10.4 0.5 0.0 0.0 41.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 7.8 7.8 7.1 5.2 3.8 0.3 0.0 0.1 2.2 11.5 9.9 8.9 64.6
Source: Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010[22]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1996 756 —    
1997 739 −2.2%
1998 736 −0.4%
1999 714 −3.0%
2000 706 −1.1%
2001 687 −2.7%
2002 674 −1.9%
2003 638 −5.3%
2004 624 −2.2%
2005 629 +0.8%
2006 616 −2.1%
2007 626 +1.6%
2008 631 +0.8%
2009 638 +1.1%
2010 661 +3.6%
2011 660 −0.2%
2012 628 −4.8%
Sources: NWT Bureau of Statistics (2001-2012)[6]

At the 2011 census, Aklavik had a population of 633, up 6.6% from 2006.[2] Like most other NWT communities the majority of the population, 93.2%, is Aboriginal. However, unlike other communities Aklavik has a large number of both North American Indian, 31.6%, and Inuit, 59.8%, along with a small number of Métis, 1.7%, and non-Aboriginal, 6.8%.[23]

In 2012 the Government of the Northwest Territories reported that the population was 628 with an average yearly growth rate of -0.4% from 2001. From 2001 to 2009 there were 97 births and 50 deaths in the community. In 2012, 15% of residents were 9 or under, 6.7% were from 10 to 14 years old, 18.8% were from 15 to 24, 27.5% were from 25 to 44, 19.7% were from 45 to 59, and 12.3% were 60 or older.[6] At the 2011 census the median age in Aklavik was 31.1, compared to 32.3 for the NWT and 40.6 for Canada as a whole.[2][24]

The crime rate for 2011 was 143.8 (per 1,000 persons) for violent crimes, and 304.1 (per 1,000 persons) for property crimes, both numbers above the average for the NWT of 85.0 and 231.2.[6] In 2010 the average income in the hamlet was C$30,844, compared to $53,978 for the NWT, and the average income for a family was $63,028, compared to $113,934 for the NWT, with 33.3% of all families earning less than $30,000.[6]

The community

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]