Igloolik Island

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Igloolik Island
Sod House.jpg
Remnants of older Inuit sod houses in Igloolik Point
Igloolik Island is located in Nunavut
Igloolik Island
Igloolik Island
Location in Nunavut
LocationFoxe Basin
Coordinates69°23′N 81°40′W / 69.383°N 81.667°W / 69.383; -81.667 (Igloolik Island)Coordinates: 69°23′N 81°40′W / 69.383°N 81.667°W / 69.383; -81.667 (Igloolik Island)
ArchipelagoCanadian Arctic Archipelago
Largest settlementIgloolik
Ethnic groupsInuit
Official nameIgloolik Island Archaeological Sites National Historic Site of Canada
Source: Atlas of Canada[1]

Igloolik Island is a small island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. It is located in the Foxe Basin, very close to the Melville Peninsula (and to a lesser degree, Baffin Island), and it is often thought to be a part of the peninsula. It forms part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The word Igloolik (Inuktitut: "there is an igloo here") comes from iglu (meaning: "house"/"building") and refers to the sod houses (qarmaq)[2] that were originally in the area.[3][4] Inuit and their ancestors have inhabited the island since 2000 BC. The archaeological sites on the island, which show a sequence up to 1000 AD, were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1978.[5][6][7]

There is only one community on the island, also named Igloolik.


On the north of Igloolik Island at 69°24′37″N 081°30′06″W / 69.41028°N 81.50167°W / 69.41028; -81.50167 (Qikiqtaarjuk) is a peninsula called Qikiqtaarjuk (Inuktitut syllabics: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᕐᔪᒃ, English: little island).[8][9][10] About 400 – 500 years ago Qikiqtaarjuk was a separate island but due to isostatic rebound it became part of the main island.[8] Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (traditional knowledge) says that prior to that there was an even smaller island called Puqtuniq from which the waters receded forming Qikiqtaarjuk.[11] Qikiqtaarjuk is associated with several Inuit legends and stories and was the place from where Atanarjuat starts his run.[8][9][11]