Kuujjuarapik

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Kuujjuarapik
ᑰᔾᔪᐊᕌᐱᒃ
Northern village municipality
Partial view of the village, as seen from the hills to the east
Partial view of the village, as seen from the hills to the east
Kuujjuarapik is located in Quebec
Kuujjuarapik
Kuujjuarapik
Coordinates (412, avenue Saint-Edmund[1]): 55°16′30″N 77°45′30″W / 55.27500°N 77.75833°W / 55.27500; -77.75833Coordinates: 55°16′30″N 77°45′30″W / 55.27500°N 77.75833°W / 55.27500; -77.75833[2]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Nord-du-Québec
TE Kativik
Settled 1821 (HBC post)
Constituted 7 June 1980
Government[1]
 • Mayor Luke Inukpuk
 • Federal riding Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou
 • Prov. riding Ungava
Area[1][3]
 • Total 7.00 km2 (2.70 sq mi)
 • Land 8.16 km2 (3.15 sq mi)
  There is an apparent contradiction between two authoritative sources
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 657
 • Density 80.5/km2 (208/sq mi)
 • Change (2006–11) Increase15.7%
 • Dwellings 204
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) J0M 1G0
Area code(s) 819

Kuujjuarapik (Inuktitut: ᑰᔾᔪᐊᕌᐱᒃ small great river) is the southernmost northern village (Inuit community) at the mouth of the Great Whale River (French: Grande Rivière de la Baleine) on the coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavik, Quebec, Canada. About 800 people, mostly Cree, live in the adjacent village of Whapmagoostui. The community is only accessible by air (Kuujjuarapik Airport) and, in late summer, by boat. The nearest Inuit village is Umiujaq, about 160 km north-northwest of Kuujjuarapik.

Like most other northern villages, there is an Inuit reserved land of the same name, Kuujjuarapik. However, unlike most other Inuit reserved lands, the Inuit reserved land of Kuujjuarapik is not adjacent to its eponymous northern village; rather, it is located considerably farther north and in fact borders on the Inuit reserved land of Umiujaq.[4]

Although the permanent cohabitation of Inuit and Crees at the mouth of the Great Whale River only goes back to the year 1950, the two nations were rubbing shoulders in this area for a very long time; Inuit close to the coast and the Crees more in the interior lands.

History[edit]

While the Inuit have hunted and fished along the Hudson Bay coast long before the arrival of Europeans, it was not until 1820 when a Hudson's Bay Company trading post was built there,[5] known variously as Great Whale River House, Great Whale River or just Great Whale. On maps of 1851 and 1854, the post is called Whale River House and Whale House.[6]

Protestant and catholic missions settled there in the 1880s. In 1895, a weather station was set up by the Federal Government. Medical and police services began to be offered in the first half of the 20th century,[5] yet it was not settled permanently and only used as a summer encampment. The official 1901 census count for Great Whale River numbers 216, making note of all the Inuit and their families who lived in the surrounding area and who came to trade at Great Whale River over the course of several months. However, the census taker notes of this official number: "I should say it does not represent one-third of the Eskimos, but I am sending on as many (names) as I could obtain."[7]

In the late 1930s, the Inuit gave up their nomadic way of life and settled in the village. In 1940, the American army opened a military air base here, using Inuit and Cree workers. In 1941, the HBC post closed. After the World War II in 1948, the military base was transferred to the Canadian government. And in 1955, it began operating a Mid-Canada Line radar station.[5] Though the radar station was not operational for long and closed in 1965, it established the village permanently.

In 1961, when the Quebec Government decided to give French names to Nordic places, the name Great Whale River was replaced with Grande-Baleine which itself was replaced a year later with Poste-de-la-Baleine.[8] When the village was incorporated, it officially adopted its current name, a name the Inuit had already been using for some time to designate this place.[8]

Fearing the impact of planned large-scale hydroelectric works on the Great Whale River, a referendum was held in 1982 in which the Inuit decided to relocate to a new village (Umiujaq) some 160 kilometres (99 mi) to the north. A large portion of the Inuit moved there in 1986, causing the population of Kuujjuarapik to drop significantly.[5][8]

Climate[edit]

Predictably, given its northern latitude, Kuujjuarapik has a severe, sub-Arctic climate, but strongly modified by its location on the southeastern (predominantly windward) shore of Hudson Bay, particularly from May/June through November, the primary season when Hudson Bay's surface is unfrozen, i.e. open water. Winters are long and cold; summers are cool, strongly influenced by the chilly open waters of Hudson Bay, with August (the warmest month, on average) mustering an average monthly high temperature of only 61 degrees F. (16.1 degrees C.). Freezing conditions (32 degrees F.) have occurred every month of the year. Year-round, climatic conditions are influenced strongly by Hudson Bay's freeze-thaw cycle. January is the coldest month on average; August, the warmest. The average annual precipitation cycle demonstrates a minimum from mid-winter (January) to mid-spring (May), with sharply rising average monthly precipitation amounts beginning in June, reaching a peak in September, but with only slowly falling average monthly precipitation amounts from September to November. As such, compared to most Northern Hemisphere sub-Arctic climates (which usually have strong precipitation maximums between June and August, usually July), Kuujjuarapik demonstrates a strong tendency favoring a relatively drier spring and relatively wetter autumn. This pattern is a direct consequence of Kuujjuarapik's location on the lee shore of Hudson Bay. Similar to a pattern evident in heavily "lake-influenced" areas around the U.S. Great Lakes (i.e. Holland and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan), in spring and early summer, water temperatures are cooler than those of surrounding land areas, encouraging low clouds and fog, but also stable conditions and less precipitation. In fall and early winter, the pattern is reversed: water temperatures are warmer than those of surrounding land areas, encouraging cumulus cloud formation and unstable conditions, meaning low-pressure systems passing from cooler land to warmer water often intensify. In Kuujjuarapik, this pattern means average monthly precipitation peaks in September - when increasingly cold air masses passing eastward and southeastward across the open waters of Hudson Bay are warmed and destabilized by their over-water passage, producing thick clouds and frequent, often-heavy instability rain (and from October to December, snow) showers. This pattern also results in the heaviest average monthly average snowfall amounts coming from October to January, but concentrated in November and December, with "Hudson-Bay effect" snows most common, and markedly less average monthly snowfall from February to May. From late November into December, Hudson Bay freezes, and by January, its frozen surface provides little modification to Arctic air masses, and less moisture, i.e. snow, to Kuujjuarapik. Also, because Hudson Bay in the fall is open water into mid to late November when freezing begins, the speed of temperature fall during the autumn months is relatively slight from August to October, and steepest from November to January (by which time the bay is fully frozen over).

Overall, Kuujjuarapik's climate is severe and sub-Arctic, but with a relatively slow temperature fall from summer to November due to water influence and delayed freezing of Hudson Bay (late November into December), and a dry spring and wet and stormy fall. Further evidencing these patterns is monthly sunshine data (as a percentage of daylight hours), which shows a marked maximum most months from February to July, and a marked minimum from September to December, when "Bay-induced" cloud cover is highest; in November, the cloudiest month, average sunshine bottoms out at only 13.5% of available daylight hours.

Climate data for Kuujjuarapik Airport (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 3.3
(37.9)
9.4
(48.9)
11.1
(52)
21.9
(71.4)
32.0
(89.6)
33.9
(93)
37.0
(98.6)
33.3
(91.9)
33.9
(93)
23.9
(75)
11.8
(53.2)
7.2
(45)
37.0
(98.6)
Average high °C (°F) −18.7
(−1.7)
−17.5
(0.5)
−10.8
(12.6)
−2.0
(28.4)
6.2
(43.2)
12.4
(54.3)
15.9
(60.6)
16.1
(61)
11.2
(52.2)
5.1
(41.2)
−2.1
(28.2)
−11.1
(12)
0.4
(32.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) −23.3
(−9.9)
−22.9
(−9.2)
−16.7
(1.9)
−7.2
(19)
1.6
(34.9)
7.2
(45)
11.1
(52)
11.8
(53.2)
8.0
(46.4)
2.4
(36.3)
−4.9
(23.2)
−15
(5)
−4.0
(24.8)
Average low °C (°F) −27.8
(−18)
−28.3
(−18.9)
−22.6
(−8.7)
−12.3
(9.9)
−3.0
(26.6)
2.0
(35.6)
6.2
(43.2)
7.6
(45.7)
4.7
(40.5)
−0.3
(31.5)
−7.6
(18.3)
−18.7
(−1.7)
−8.3
(17.1)
Record low °C (°F) −49.4
(−56.9)
−48.9
(−56)
−45.0
(−49)
−33.9
(−29)
−25.0
(−13)
−7.8
(18)
−2.2
(28)
−1.1
(30)
−6.1
(21)
−15.0
(5)
−28.9
(−20)
−46.1
(−51)
−49.4
(−56.9)
Precipitation mm (inches) 27.9
(1.098)
22.7
(0.894)
23.2
(0.913)
23.7
(0.933)
33.5
(1.319)
59.6
(2.346)
75.8
(2.984)
91.6
(3.606)
109.3
(4.303)
81.6
(3.213)
65.9
(2.594)
46.1
(1.815)
660.8
(26.016)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.05
(0.002)
0.64
(0.0252)
2.1
(0.083)
6.9
(0.272)
19.9
(0.783)
55.1
(2.169)
75.9
(2.988)
91.6
(3.606)
106.5
(4.193)
53.4
(2.102)
9.4
(0.37)
0.65
(0.0256)
422.0
(16.614)
Snowfall cm (inches) 29.3
(11.54)
22.8
(8.98)
22.1
(8.7)
17.3
(6.81)
14.3
(5.63)
4.4
(1.73)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
2.9
(1.14)
29.4
(11.57)
58.5
(23.03)
47.9
(18.86)
248.8
(97.95)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 17.2 14.0 12.7 11.3 12.2 12.1 13.9 16.5 20.8 21.6 22.0 21.3 195.5
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.17 0.38 1.0 3.2 6.9 10.6 13.9 16.5 20.0 14.1 3.6 0.41 90.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 17.2 13.9 12.5 9.6 7.0 2.8 0.0 0.0 2.0 12.1 20.6 21.2 118.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 71.7 112.7 155.8 165.2 166.4 205.0 213.5 163.7 81.8 64.4 34.2 40.0 1,474.3
Percent possible sunshine 29.6 41.5 42.5 39.0 33.2 39.4 41.0 35.2 21.3 19.8 13.5 17.8 31.2
Source: Environment Canada[9]

Demographics[edit]

Population trend:[10]

  • Population in 2011: 657 (2006 to 2011 population change: 15.7%)
  • Population in 2006: 568
  • Population in 2001: 555
  • Population in 1996: 579
  • Population in 1991: 605

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Geographic code 99075 in the official Répertoire des municipalités (French)
  2. ^ Reference number 95269 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (French)
  3. ^ a b "(Code 2499075) Census Profile". 2011 census. Statistics Canada. 2012. 
  4. ^ "Census Profile: Map: Umiujaq, Terre inuite (Census Subdivision), Quebec". 2011 census. Statistics Canada. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Kuujjuarapik". Nunavik Tourism Association. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  6. ^ "Whapmagoostui" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  7. ^ http://automatedgenealogy.com/census/ProofFrame.jsp?id=112605
  8. ^ a b c "Kuujjuarapik" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  9. ^ "Kuujjuarapik Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census


External links[edit]