Gjoa Haven

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Gjoa Haven
ᐅᖅᓱᖅᑑᖅ
Uqsuqtuuq
Hamlet
Main street of Gjoa Haven
Main street of Gjoa Haven
Gjoa Haven is located in Nunavut
Gjoa Haven
Gjoa Haven
Coordinates: 68°37′33″N 095°52′30″W / 68.62583°N 95.87500°W / 68.62583; -95.87500Coordinates: 68°37′33″N 095°52′30″W / 68.62583°N 95.87500°W / 68.62583; -95.87500
Country Canada
Territory Nunavut
Region Kitikmeot Region
Electoral district Gjoa Haven
Government[1][2]
 • Mayor Allen Aglukkaq
 • MLA Tony Akoak
 • MP Leona Aglukkaq
Area[3]
 • Total 28.47 km2 (10.99 sq mi)
Elevation[4] 47 m (154 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 1,279
 • Density 45/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
Canadian Postal code X0B 1J0
Area code(s) 867

Gjoa Haven (/ˌ ˈhvən/; Inuktitut: Uqsuqtuuq, syllabics: ᐅᖅᓱᖅᑑᖅ[pronunciation?], meaning "lots of fat", referring to the abundance of blubbery sea mammals in the nearby waters) is a hamlet in Nunavut, above the Arctic Circle, located in the Kitikmeot Region, 1,056 km (656 mi) northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It is the only settlement on King William Island. The name Gjoa Haven is from the Norwegian "Gjøahavn" or "Gjøa's Harbour", and was named by polar explorer Roald Amundsen after his ship Gjøa and in turn is derived from the old Norse name Gyða and compressed compound form of Guðfríðr (guð 'god' and fríðr 'beautiful').

History[edit]

In 1903, Amundsen was attempting the first traverse of the Northwest Passage; by October the straits through which he was travelling began to ice up, and Amundsen put Gjøa into a natural harbour on the southeast coast of King William Island. He was to stay there, in what Amundsen called "the finest little harbor in the world", for nearly two years. He spent that time with the local Netsilik Inuit, learning to live off the land and travel efficiently. This knowledge proved to be vital for his later successful exploration to the South Pole. He explored the Boothia Peninsula, searching for the exact location of the North Magnetic Pole. Some of the present Inuit people claim to be descendants of Amundsen (or his companions),[5] but that has been refuted.[6]

Permanent settlement at Gjoa Haven started in 1927 with a Hudson's Bay Company outpost.[7] In 1941 Henry Larsen reached it from the west. It mirrors the movement of the traditionally nomadic Inuit people toward a more settled lifestyle. In 1961, the town's population was 110; population was 960 according to the 2001 Census, having grown due to people moving from the traditional camps to be close to the healthcare and educational facilities available at Gjoa Haven. At the 2011 census, the population was 1,279, an increase of 20.2% from the 2006 census.[3] Gjoa Haven has expanded to such an extent that a newer subdivision has been set up near the airport at 68°37′56″N 095°52′04″W / 68.63222°N 95.86778°W / 68.63222; -95.86778.

The community is served by the Gjoa Haven Airport and by annual supply sealift. The area is home to CAM-B, a North Warning System site.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Gjoa Haven Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex −7.4 −11.3 −6.6 0.2 2.6 19.4 26.7 23.0 16.0 4.2 −1.4 −1.9 26.7
Record high °C (°F) −6.0
(21.2)
−11.0
(12.2)
−5.0
(23)
1.0
(33.8)
6.5
(43.7)
20.8
(69.4)
24.1
(75.4)
22.5
(72.5)
15.4
(59.7)
4.5
(40.1)
−0.8
(30.6)
−8.3
(17.1)
24.1
(75.4)
Average high °C (°F) −30.4
(−22.7)
−30.7
(−23.3)
−25.1
(−13.2)
−16.0
(3.2)
−5.9
(21.4)
4.2
(39.6)
12.1
(53.8)
8.9
(48)
2.1
(35.8)
−6.7
(19.9)
−19.0
(−2.2)
−26.6
(−15.9)
−11.1
(12)
Daily mean °C (°F) −33.8
(−28.8)
−34.0
(−29.2)
−28.9
(−20)
−20.4
(−4.7)
−9.4
(15.1)
1.4
(34.5)
8.0
(46.4)
5.8
(42.4)
0.1
(32.2)
−9.5
(14.9)
−22.4
(−8.3)
−29.9
(−21.8)
−14.4
(6.1)
Average low °C (°F) −37.1
(−34.8)
−37.0
(−34.6)
−32.6
(−26.7)
−24.8
(−12.6)
−12.9
(8.8)
−1.5
(29.3)
3.8
(38.8)
2.7
(36.9)
−2.0
(28.4)
−12.3
(9.9)
−25.8
(−14.4)
−33.1
(−27.6)
−17.7
(0.1)
Record low °C (°F) −48.3
(−54.9)
−50.2
(−58.4)
−46.3
(−51.3)
−40.0
(−40)
−28.2
(−18.8)
−17.0
(1.4)
−1.1
(30)
−5.0
(23)
−14.3
(6.3)
−32.0
(−25.6)
−39.4
(−38.9)
−44.0
(−47.2)
−50.2
(−58.4)
Wind chill −64.2 −65.3 −64.5 −54.0 −38.1 −21.9 0.0 −12.9 −21.2 −48.1 −55.0 −62.5 −65.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 8.3
(0.327)
7.8
(0.307)
12.9
(0.508)
13.5
(0.531)
15.0
(0.591)
14.7
(0.579)
21.2
(0.835)
28.4
(1.118)
24.2
(0.953)
25.0
(0.984)
11.4
(0.449)
8.8
(0.346)
191.0
(7.52)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.8
(0.071)
11.2
(0.441)
20.8
(0.819)
27.9
(1.098)
15.9
(0.626)
0.9
(0.035)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
78.4
(3.087)
Snowfall cm (inches) 9.7
(3.82)
8.8
(3.46)
15.8
(6.22)
15.4
(6.06)
15.2
(5.98)
3.9
(1.54)
0.4
(0.16)
0.5
(0.2)
8.8
(3.46)
28.2
(11.1)
13.4
(5.28)
10.4
(4.09)
130.4
(51.34)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 8.2 6.4 9.0 8.8 9.6 6.8 7.8 11.0 12.0 14.1 10.1 8.2 112.0
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 5.3 7.8 10.6 7.4 0.5 0.0 0.0 32.5
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 8.2 6.4 9.0 8.8 9.3 1.9 0.2 0.6 5.8 14.1 10.4 8.2 82.7
 % humidity 62.6 63.9 70.3 77.7 85.9 81.9 70.7 75.8 82.3 87.7 76.7 66.7 75.2
Source: Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010[8]

Attractions[edit]

Quqshuun Ilihakvik Centre is a community heritage museum and cultural centre opened in 2013.[9]

Religion[edit]

There are two churches in the hamlet:

  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church
  • Old Gjoa Haven Church

Government services[edit]

Local

  • Gjoa Haven RCMP Detachment
  • Gjoa Haven Fire Department
  • Gjoa Haven Hamlet Council
  • Gjoa Haven Continuing Care - a 10 bed, 24/7 health care facility opened in 2010[10]

Territorial

  • Gjoa Haven Nunavat Water Board
  • Gjoa Haven Lands Administration Office
  • Nunavut Social Services Department
  • Nunavut Power Corporation
  • Nunavut Economic Development Office

Economy[edit]

Most employment in Gjoa Haven is either with government services with a few commercial employers:

  • Northern Store
  • The Inns North Amundsen Hotel - 16 rooms
  • Qikiqtaq Co-op Limited
  • Gjoa Haven Commercial Airport Radio Station

Education[edit]

Gjoa Haven has two schools:

  • Quqshuun Ilihakvik Elementary School
  • Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik High School

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Huntford, R. (2003). Scott and Amundsen: The last place on earth. London: Abacus., ISBN 0-349-11395-5

External links[edit]