Resolute, Nunavut

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Resolute
ᖃᐅᓱᐃᑦᑐᖅ
Qausuittuq
Resolute in 1997. Visible on the left is a long residential building (brown) designed by British-Swedish architect Ralph Erskine
Resolute in 1997. Visible on the left is a long residential building (brown) designed by British-Swedish architect Ralph Erskine
Official seal of Resolute
Seal
Resolute is located in Nunavut
Resolute
Resolute
Coordinates: 74°41′51″N 094°49′56″W / 74.69750°N 94.83222°W / 74.69750; -94.83222Coordinates: 74°41′51″N 094°49′56″W / 74.69750°N 94.83222°W / 74.69750; -94.83222
Country Canada
Territory Nunavut
Region Qikiqtaaluk Region
Electoral district Quttiktuq
Government[1][2]
 • Type Hamlet Council
 • Mayor Mavis Manik
 • MLA Isaac Shooyook
Area[3]
 • Total 116.89 km2 (45.13 sq mi)
Elevation[4] 66 m (217 ft)
Population (2006)[3]
 • Total 229
 • Density 2.0/km2 (5.1/sq mi)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Canadian Postal code X0A 0V0
Area code(s) 867

Resolute or Resolute Bay (Inuktitut: Qausuittuq ᖃᐅᓱᐃᑦᑐᖅ literally “place with no dawn”[5]) is a small Inuit hamlet on Cornwallis Island in Nunavut, Canada. It is situated at the northern end of Resolute Bay and the Northwest Passage and is part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region.

Resolute is one of Canada's northernmost communities and is second only to Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island (Alert and Eureka are more northerly but are not considered towns – just military outposts and weather stations). It is also one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, with an average yearly temperature of −15.7 °C (3.7 °F).[6] As of the 2006 census the population was 229, an increase of 6.5% from the 2001 census.[3] Like in most other northern communities, the roads and most of the terrain are all gravel.

Settlement[edit]

The area shows evidence of being occupied sporadically by the Dorset culture (Tunit) and later the Thule people from as early as 1500 BCE until 1000 CE. However, modern Inuit did not occupy or use the area until the 1953 relocation.[7]

In 1947 Canada and the United States built a weather station, Resolute Weather Station, and an airstrip as part of the Joint Arctic Weather Stations, known today as the High Arctic Weather Stations.[7][8] This was followed in 1949 by a Royal Canadian Air Force base, RCAF Station Resolute Bay.[7] At that time the population was made up of military personnel and specialists, such as meteorologists, from the south. Today the base serves as a starting point for Arctic research and access to both the North Pole and the North Magnetic Pole.[7]

Named after the Arctic exploration vessel HMS Resolute,[7] the community of Resolute got its start in 1953 as part of the High Arctic relocation. Efforts to assert sovereignty in the High Arctic during the Cold War, because of the area's strategic geopolitical position, led the Government of Canada to forcibly relocate Inuit from northern Quebec to Resolute (and to Grise Fiord). The first group of people, which included one Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, Ross Gibson, who was also to become the community's first teacher,[7] were relocated in 1953, along with a second group in 1955,[7] from Inukjuak, Quebec (then known as Port Harrison), and from Pond Inlet, Nunavut. They were promised homes and game to hunt, but the relocated people discovered no buildings and very little familiar wildlife.[9] They also had to endure weeks of 24-hour darkness during the winter, and 24-hour sunlight during the summer, something that does not occur in northern Quebec. They were told that they would be returned home after a year if they wished, but this offer was later withdrawn as it would have damaged Canada's claims to sovereignty in the area and the Inuit were forced to stay. Eventually, the Inuit learned the local beluga whale migration routes and were able to survive in the area, hunting over a range of 18,000 km2 (6,900 sq mi) each year.[10]

In 1993, the Canadian government held hearings to investigate the relocation program, and the following year the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued a report entitled The High Arctic Relocation: A Report on the 1953–55 Relocation.[11] The government paid $10 million CAD to the survivors and their families, and gave a formal apology in 2008.[12]

The community was originally built 5 km (3.1 mi) from the base but by the 1970s the number of research people arriving in Resolute was causing problems. Between 1974 and 1975 the community was moved to a location allowing better municipal services, but poorly sited for hunting purposes.[7]

Contrary to popular stereotypes, people in this remote community have a low unemployment rate. Most citizens are employed at least part of the year; however, with 2010s changes to American policy toward polar bear hunting, the local economy is at risk as many Inuit cater to American sport hunters seeking polar bear trophies.[10]

Future[edit]

On August 8, 2007, CBC News reported that Canadian Forces documents showed plans to build an army training centre in the community along with a $60 million deepwater port at Nanisivik 370 km to the southeast.[13]

On August 10, 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the construction of a pair of multimillion-dollar military facilities within the contested waters of Canada's Arctic territory. The facilities consist of a new army training centre at Resolute, Nunavut, and a deep-sea port at Nanisivik Naval Facility. A statement issued by the Prime Minister says, "The Training Centre will be a year-round multi-purpose facility supporting Arctic training and operations, accommodating up to 100 personnel. Training equipment and vehicles stationed at the site will also provide an increased capability and faster response time in support of regional military or civilian emergency operations." [14]

Facilities[edit]

The Tadjaat Co-op, part of the Arctic Cooperative, runs a grocery/retail store and a hotel. There is also an airport gift shop called Polar Bear Hut.

The town has three hotels – Qausuittuq Inns North, South Camp Inn, and the Airport Hotel – which have fewer than 100 rooms each, and several lodges. Other facilities include a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment, a school (which provides education from kindergarten to Grade 12) and a gym.

Climate[edit]

Resolute has a polar arctic climate with long cold winters and short cool summers. Resolute's average high for the year is −12.7 °C (9.1 °F) while the average low for the year is −18.6 °C (−1.5 °F). Resolute has a very dry climate with an average precipitation of 161.2 mm (6.35 in) a year, most of it falling as snow from August to September. The record high for Resolute is 18.5 °C (65.3 °F) on July11, 2008.The record low for Resolute is −52.2 °C (−62.0 °F) on January 7, 1966.[6]

Climate data for Resolute Bay Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex −0.8 −3.9 −2.8 0.0 5.6 13.5 19.4 15.0 8.9 1.4 −2.8 −4.1 19.4
Record high °C (°F) −0.8
(30.6)
−3.9
(25)
−2.7
(27.1)
0.0
(32)
6.1
(43)
13.9
(57)
18.5
(65.3)
15.3
(59.5)
9.4
(48.9)
1.6
(34.9)
−2.8
(27)
−3.6
(25.5)
18.5
(65.3)
Average high °C (°F) −28.6
(−19.5)
−29.0
(−20.2)
−26.8
(−16.2)
−18.3
(−0.9)
−7.4
(18.7)
2.6
(36.7)
7.3
(45.1)
4.2
(39.6)
−2.0
(28.4)
−10.5
(13.1)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−24.5
(−12.1)
−12.7
(9.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) −32.0
(−25.6)
−32.4
(−26.3)
−30.2
(−22.4)
−21.8
(−7.2)
−10.3
(13.5)
0.4
(32.7)
4.5
(40.1)
2.0
(35.6)
−4.1
(24.6)
−13.4
(7.9)
−22.7
(−8.9)
−27.9
(−18.2)
−15.7
(3.7)
Average low °C (°F) −35.3
(−31.5)
−35.8
(−32.4)
−33.6
(−28.5)
−25.3
(−13.5)
−13.3
(8.1)
−1.9
(28.6)
1.7
(35.1)
−0.3
(31.5)
−6.1
(21)
−16.4
(2.5)
−25.9
(−14.6)
−31.3
(−24.3)
−18.6
(−1.5)
Record low °C (°F) −52.2
(−62)
−52.0
(−61.6)
−51.7
(−61.1)
−42.1
(−43.8)
−29.4
(−20.9)
−16.7
(1.9)
−3.1
(26.4)
−9.3
(15.3)
−20.6
(−5.1)
−37.3
(−35.1)
−42.8
(−45)
−46.1
(−51)
−52.2
(−62)
Wind chill −72.0 −69.6 −69.9 −60.5 −41.5 −27.1 −9.8 −17.1 −32.4 −57.1 −60.3 −63.8 −72.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 4.2
(0.165)
3.9
(0.154)
7.4
(0.291)
6.7
(0.264)
8.7
(0.343)
14.6
(0.575)
28.1
(1.106)
33.8
(1.331)
22.6
(0.89)
16.0
(0.63)
9.6
(0.378)
5.7
(0.224)
161.2
(6.346)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.5
(0.02)
7.2
(0.283)
23.2
(0.913)
23.2
(0.913)
4.8
(0.189)
0.5
(0.02)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
59.5
(2.343)
Snowfall cm (inches) 4.8
(1.89)
4.3
(1.69)
7.9
(3.11)
6.8
(2.68)
9.9
(3.9)
7.7
(3.03)
4.6
(1.81)
10.9
(4.29)
18.7
(7.36)
18.9
(7.44)
10.2
(4.02)
6.6
(2.6)
111.2
(43.78)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 5.8 6.0 7.8 6.6 8.6 7.7 11.4 13.6 12.8 13.1 9.2 6.7 109.2
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 3.9 10.0 9.0 2.2 0.3 0.0 0.0 25.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 6.3 6.3 7.9 6.8 8.9 5.5 3.2 6.7 11.6 13.2 9.5 7.1 92.9
 % humidity 64.5 64.4 65.0 69.6 81.5 83.5 80.8 85.8 88.5 84.2 71.6 67.0 75.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 0.0 0.0 132.2 291.7 307.9 298.1 299.4 138.4 58.9 30.3 0.7 0.0 1,557.5
Percent possible sunshine n/a n/a 37.2 53.6 41.4 41.4 40.2 20.8 14.0 12.4 3.8 n/a 29.4
Source: Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010[6]

Economy[edit]

Besides hunting guides and hotels Resolute has a mixed and small sized employers:[15]

  • Resolute Bay School
  • Hamlet of Resolute Council
  • RCMP Resolute Detachment
  • Resolute Bay Airport
  • Tudjaat Co-op store

Services[edit]

Limited services available with most in Iqaluit and Ottawa:[15]

  • Resolute Bay Health Centre/Nursing Station
  • Arctic College
  • Resolute Bay Anglican Church

Transportation[edit]

Although not as busy as it once was, Resolute Bay Airport is still the core of the town, serving as an aviation hub for exploration in the region and connected by direct service to Iqaluit.

Within the community, most travel is by snowmobile and walking. Cars are limited. There are no taxis or public transit but hotels offer shuttle service.

Notable people[edit]

Joseph Idlout, grandfather of singer Lucie Idlout and father of Leah Idlout, the community's second teacher, moved to Resolute in 1955 from Pond Inlet.[7] Idlout, an Inuk hunter who was the subject of two National Film Board documentaries, Land of the Long Day, filmed in 1952 in Pond Inlet,[16] and Between Two Worlds in 1990.[17] He was for a time one of the most well-known Inuit and was shown on the back of the Canadian two-dollar bill.[18]

Races departing from Resolute[edit]

Resolute is the starting point for both the Polar Race and the Polar Challenge, in which teams race the 350 nautical miles (648 km; 403 mi) to the North Magnetic Pole.

In 2007, the British television team Top Gear embarked from Resolute and became the first team to reach the 1996 position of the magnetic north pole with automobiles, with Jeremy Clarkson and James May reaching the Pole in a UK plated 2007 Toyota Hilux 3.0 litre Diesel heavily modified by an Icelandic team on a mixture of diesel and avgas, against Richard Hammond who was being pulled by a team of sled dogs.[19]

Image gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nunavummiut elect new municipal leaders
  2. ^ Results for the constituency of Quttiktuq at Elections Nunavut
  3. ^ a b c 2006 Census
  4. ^ Elevation at airport. Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
  5. ^ The Nunavut Handbook ISBN 1-55036-587-8
  6. ^ a b c "Resolute CARS" (CSV (4222 KB)). Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2403500. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Resolute Bay Community History
  8. ^ High Arctic Weather Stations
  9. ^ Grise Fiord: History
  10. ^ a b McGrath, Melanie. The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 (268 pages) Hardcover: ISBN 0-00-715796-7 Paperback: ISBN 0-00-715797-5
  11. ^ The High Arctic Relocation: A Report on the 1953–55 Relocation by René Dussault and George Erasmus, produced by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, published by Canadian Government Publishing, 1994 (190 pages)[1]
  12. ^ Royte, Elizabeth (2007-04-08). "Trail of Tears". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ Planned army base, port in North heat up Arctic quest
  14. ^ Prime Minister Announces Expansion of Canadian Forces Facilities and Operations in the Arctic, Government of Canada news release, 10 August 2007.
  15. ^ a b http://mailhub.edu.nu.ca/qikiqtani/orientation/ResoluteBay.html
  16. ^ Land of the Long Day
  17. ^ NFB Collection: Between Two Worlds
  18. ^ Contact with Europeans
  19. ^ Top Gear Team in Hot Water Over Pole Race

Further reading[edit]

  • Bissett, Don. Resolute, An Area Economic Survey. Ottawa: Industrial Division, Dept. of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1968.
  • Canadian Ice Service. Present and future sea ice travel: Resolute Maannaujuq ammalu sivuniksattinni sikukkut aullaaqattarniq: Qausuittuq = Déplacements actuels et futurs sur la glace de mer: Resolute. Ottawa: Canadian Ice Service = Service Canadien des glaces, 2007. ISBN 978-0-662-49881-0
  • Lahoutifard, Nazafarin, Melissa Sparling, and David Lean. 2005. "Total and Methyl Mercury Patterns in Arctic Snow During Springtime at Resolute, Nunavut, Canada". Atmospheric Environment. 39, no. 39: 7597.

External links[edit]