Hopedale, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Inuit community
Place of the Whales
Hopedale is located in Newfoundland and Labrador
Location of Hopedale in Labrador
Coordinates: 55°29′02.54″N 060°12′11.48″W / 55.4840389°N 60.2031889°W / 55.4840389; -60.2031889Coordinates: 55°29′02.54″N 060°12′11.48″W / 55.4840389°N 60.2031889°W / 55.4840389; -60.2031889
ProvinceNewfoundland and Labrador
IncorporatedMay 12, 1969
 • TypeInuit Community Government
 • Mayor (AngajukKâk)Marjorie Flowers
 • Federal MPYvonne Jones (L)
 • Provincial MHALela Evans (PC)
 • Nunatsiavut Assembly memberGreg Flowers (I)
 • Land3.35 km2 (1.29 sq mi)
 • Total583
 • Density157.9/km2 (409/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (Atlantic Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (Atlantic Daylight)
Area code(s)709

Hopedale (Inuit: Arvituk)[1] is a town located in the north of Labrador, the mainland portion of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Hopedale is the legislative capital of the Inuit Land Claims Area Nunatsiavut, and where the Nunatsiavut Assembly meets. As of 2014 it has a population of 583.


Hopedale was founded as an Inuit settlement named Agvituk, Inuktitut for "place of the whales". In 1782, Moravian missionaries from Germany arrived in the area to convert the population. They renamed the settlement Hopedale (Hoffental in German) shortly afterward. The Hopedale Mission is still standing and is thought to be the oldest wooden-frame building in Canada standing east of Quebec. As such, it was named a National Historic Site of Canada.[2] It is currently run by the Agvituk Historical Society as a part of a museum on the history of missionaries in the area.

From 1953 to 1968 a joint Royal Canadian Air Force-United States Air Force's Hopedale Air Station was located on the hills above Hopedale. Civilian personnel lived in the main part of town. Since 1968 the area has remained abandoned other than maintenance of non-military communications towers nearby.


The majority of people in Hopedale (79%) speak English as a first language, but a significant minority (21%) speak Inuktitut.

About 83% of the population identify themselves as Inuit, 16% are of mainly European descent, and 1% are of Punjabi origin. Many of the Inuit in the town are actually mixed Inuit and White.

About 87% of the population belongs to a Protestant denomination, about 2% are Roman Catholic, and another 1% are Sikh. About 10% are not affiliated with any religion.

Common surnames in Hopedale include Boase, Dicker, Flowers, Hunter, Jararuse, Lucy, Nochasak, Onalik, Pijogge, Tuglavina and Winters.

Churches in Hopedale include:

  • Hopedale Moravian Church
  • Hopedale Pentecostal Assembly


There are no roads that connect Hopedale with the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Hopedale Airport, a small public airport, connects the area with small communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and connections beyond made via Goose Bay Airport. The airport was built in the mid 1960s to provide air support to former USAF Hopedale Air Station. Since 1968 the airport is used by civilians.

The airport handles only small turboprop aircraft or helicopters. There is only one service building at the airport. The airport is connected to Hopedale via Airstrip Road.

M/V Northern Ranger is a ferry that connects Hopedale with 5 communities within Nunatsiavut, as well as Goose Bay from June to November.[3] Small boats are used to access nearby areas by water.

Local land based transportation in the community is made by private vehicles (cars, trucks, ATV) and snowmobile in winter. There are only a few roads in the community, all gravel:

  • Airstrip Road - access to Hopedale Airport
  • American Road - former access road to USAF radar stations and barracks
  • Carpenter Road and Drive - serves new residential area
  • Government Road - former route home to non-military personnel for former USAF radar station
  • Nanuk Road
  • Water Road - road to main part of Hopedale


Policing in Hopedale is provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which has a Hopedale Detachment staffed by four officers. The current detachment was completed in 1994.[4]

There is no hospital located in Hopedale and only basic medical services are provided by Hopedale Community Clinic. The clinic is operated by Labrador-Grenfell Health Authority and is staffed by two nurses; a doctor visits town every six weeks and a dentist visits the town periodically.[5] Advanced care requires patients to be flown out of town by air ambulance to the nearest hospital which is in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Hopedale Volunteer Fire Department is a small fire and rescue service with a single pumper stored at the fire hall located next to the RCMP detachment near Water Road.

Canada Post has a post office (19 Harbour Drive B) located in town.

Amos Comenius Memorial School at Nanuk Hill, with grades Kindergarten to Grade 12,[6] is the only school in Hopedale.

DJ's Convenience, Big Land Grocery, Northland Enterprises (with Sylvia's Take Out) are the only stores selling food and other convenience goods in town.[7]


AngajukKâk are equivalent of mayor in Hopedale and are elected every four years.[8] The incumbent is Marjorie Flowers

Past AngajukKâk:

Local attractions[edit]

Hopedale, Moravian mission, Labrador, NL, 1881-85

There are few local attractions:[11]

See also[edit]