|State||Kingdom of Denmark|
Ittoqqortoormiit (Inuit pronunciation: [itːoqːɔʁtɔːʁmiːt]), formerly known as Scoresbysund, is a settlement in the Sermersooq municipality in eastern Greenland. Its population is 469 as of 2010.
The former name Scoresbysund derives the Arctic explorer and whaler William Scoresby, who was the first to map the area in 1822. The name "Ittoqqortoormiit" means "Big-House Dwellers" in the Eastern Greenlandic dialect. The region is known for its wildlife, including polar bears, muskoxen, and seals.
Ittoqqortoormiit was founded in 1925 by Ejnar Mikkelsen and some 80 Inuit settlers (70 persons from Tasiilaq and four families from western Greenland). They were brought on the ship Gustav Holm and settled 400 km south of the last known Inuit settlement in northeastern Greenland (Eskimonæs at Dødemandsbugten on the south coast of Clavering Ø, 27 km southwest of later Daneborg, 1823).
The settlement was encouraged by the colonial power Denmark which at the time had a growing interest in Northeast Greenland. At the same time, the colonization was intended to improve declining living conditions in Tasiilaq, from where the settlers were more or less voluntarily transferred. The settlers soon prospered on the good hunting conditions of the new area, which was rich in seals, walruses, narwhals, polar bears and arctic foxes.
Before that, however, the area itself had been home to a dense population of Inuit in the past, as testified by ruins and other archeological remains.
Ittoqqortoormiit is one of the most remote towns in Greenland. It is served by Ittoqqortoormiit Heliport, with Air Greenland helicopters shuttling passengers between the settlement and Nerlerit Inaat Airport, the latter also reachable by boat for a few months a year. There are two Air Iceland weekly departures from Reykjavík, synchronized with flights to Kulusuk in southeastern Greenland. Air Greenland provides indirect air communication with the rest of the country from Kulusuk.
Local hunters have for generations made a living from whale and polar bear hunting, and it remains, up to the present, a significant cultural-economical factor in the area. Flesh and by-products play a direct part in the economy of the hunting families. Income is gained by trading these products, but these options are seasonal and variable.
Ittoqqortoormiit lies near large populations of shrimp and Greenland halibut, but the presence of sea ice prevents the exploitation of these resources year-round, and as a result fishing has never been extensively developed in the municipality.
Tourism, on the other hand, is growing in importance. The buildings at the abandoned Uunarteq settlement are used by the local inhabitants as cottages during summer.
The population of Ittoqqortoormiit has fluctuated over the past two decades, slightly decreasing in the last several years.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ittoqqortoormiit|
- Municipality of Ittoqqortoormiit as a political division of Greenland, within Semersooq it:File:Greenland 17.PNG Unknown parameter
- Statistics Greenland, Greenland in Figures, 2010
- Greenland and the Arctic. By Etain O'Carroll and Mark Elliott. Lonely Planet 2005. ISBN 1-74059-095-3.
- Statistics Greenland