Inukjuak

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Inukjuak
ᐃᓄᒃᔪᐊᒃ
Northern village municipality
Inukjuak is located in Quebec
Inukjuak
Inukjuak
Inukjuak is located in Canada
Inukjuak
Inukjuak
Coordinates: 58°27′N 78°06′W / 58.450°N 78.100°W / 58.450; -78.100Coordinates: 58°27′N 78°06′W / 58.450°N 78.100°W / 58.450; -78.100[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Nord-du-Québec
TE Kativik
Constituted 7 June 1980
Government[2]
 • Mayor Siasi Iqrumia
 • Federal riding Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou
 • Prov. riding Ungava
Area[2][3]
 • Total 64.40 km2 (24.86 sq mi)
 • Land 55.63 km2 (21.48 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 1,597
 • Density 28.7/km2 (74/sq mi)
 • Change (2006–11) 0.0%
 • Dwellings 444
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) J0M 1M0
Area code(s) 819
Website www.nvinukjuak.ca

Inukjuak (Inuktitut: ᐃᓄᒃᔪᐊᒃ) (Inuktitut for The Giant) is a northern village (Inuit community) located on Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Innuksuak River in Nunavik, in the Nord-du-Québec region of northern Quebec, Canada. Its population is 1,597 as of the Canada 2011 Census. An older spelling is Inoucdjouac;[4] its former name was Port Harrison.

It is not accessible by road, but by boat in summer and year-round by air through Inukjuak Airport.

"The Giant" is the literal translation of the word Inukjuak, but originally it was Inurjuat, which means "many people". In the past there was an Inuk (singular for the word Inuit) who went down to the river of Inukjuak to fetch some water. While there, the person saw many Inuit in kayaks approaching from the mouth of the river, and then yelled back out to the community "Inurjuat! Inurjuat!". That is where the name for the community comes from.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The many archeological sites near Inukjuak indicate that the area has long been inhabited by Inuit.

Port Harrison in 1922

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Révillon Frères company set up a fur trading post in Inukjuak, originally called Port Harrison. In order to compete with them, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) established a post in 1920. In the same year Révillon Frères paid for Robert J. Flaherty to film Nanook of the North (released 1922) in the area.

The HBC bought out Révillon Frères in 1936 and continued its trade monopoly here until 1958. In 1927 an Anglican mission was established, followed by a post office and RCMP detachment in 1935, a nursing station in 1947, and a school in 1951. From this time on the Inuit started to give up their traditional nomadic way of life and live permanently in the community. A cooperative store was formed in 1962. Inukjuak was legally established as a municipality in 1980.

In 1953, the Canadian government forcibly relocated some of the area's inhabitants to Resolute and Grise Fiord—then in the Northwest Territories, but now part of Nunavut—as part of a plan to establish a Canadian presence in the High Arctic and assert its sovereignty (see human flagpoles). This caused families to be split up and relocated persons faced hardships in the much more severe conditions of the far north.

Artist Leah Nuvalinga Qumaluk was born in Inukjuak in 1934.[5]

Geography[edit]

Despite its bitterly cold climate, Inukjuak is actually not very far north – especially for an area above the tree line. It is by North American standards located far south of warm-summer inland areas like Yellowknife and Fairbanks where vegetation thrives. Being on the 58th parallel it is located closer to the equator than cities like Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Saint Petersburg, all of which have far gentler year-round climates. It is also on the same parallel as the extremely mild northern tip of mainland Scotland (Thurso). With the North American population centres being further south due to the cold climate it still lies far north of provincial centres Montreal and Quebec City, being located in the distant wilderness from the majority of Quebec's population. It also lies at a distance from Nunavik's largest population centre Kuujjuaq that is on a similar latitude but further to the east.

Climate[edit]

Inukjuak has a polar climate with a July average of 9.4 °C (48.9 °F) and February average of −25.8 °C (−14.4 °F). The climate is influenced by the freezing of the shallow Hudson Bay combined with extremely moderated summers with very pronounced seasonal lag as the bay thaws. As a result, Inukjuak gets an extremely cold climate for the parallel, especially considering its marine position. On similar parallels in Scandinavia in Northern Europe summers are close to ten degrees warmer and winters are around the freezing point – demonstrating the extreme chilliness of the climate. Even compared to geographically analogous locations in the Russian Far East, Inukjuak has an annual mean 1.5 °C or 2.7 °F colder than Aldan and 4.7 °C or 8.5 °F colder than Magadan, whilst receiving about an hour less sunshine each day than those two localities. Due to the cold summers, Inukjuak is above the arctic tree line despite lying more than 1/3 of the Northern Hemisphere from the pole.

Climate data for Inukjuak
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high humidex −0.6 2.4 4.4 6.5 16.0 32.4 34.0 28.4 19.8 12.2 7.2 1.4 34
Record high °C (°F) 0.6
(33.1)
5.0
(41)
3.9
(39)
7.2
(45)
23.3
(73.9)
30.0
(86)
27.8
(82)
25.6
(78.1)
22.8
(73)
16.7
(62.1)
8.3
(46.9)
16.1
(61)
30.0
(86)
Average high °C (°F) −21.0
(−5.8)
−21.6
(−6.9)
−16.3
(2.7)
−7.1
(19.2)
1.2
(34.2)
8.4
(47.1)
13.2
(55.8)
12.5
(54.5)
7.7
(45.9)
2.0
(35.6)
−4.2
(24.4)
−15.0
(5)
−3.4
(25.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) −24.8
(−12.6)
−25.8
(−14.4)
−21.2
(−6.2)
−11.7
(10.9)
−1.9
(28.6)
4.6
(40.3)
9.4
(48.9)
9.2
(48.6)
5.1
(41.2)
−0.3
(31.5)
−7.4
(18.7)
−18.9
(−2)
−7.0
(19.4)
Average low °C (°F) −28.6
(−19.5)
−29.9
(−21.8)
−26.1
(−15)
−16.3
(2.7)
−5.1
(22.8)
0.8
(33.4)
5.5
(41.9)
5.9
(42.6)
2.5
(36.5)
−2.6
(27.3)
−10.6
(12.9)
−22.7
(−8.9)
−10.6
(12.9)
Record low °C (°F) −46.1
(−51)
−49.4
(−56.9)
−45
(−49)
−34.4
(−29.9)
−25.6
(−14.1)
−9.4
(15.1)
−6.7
(19.9)
−2.8
(27)
−11.1
(12)
−22.8
(−9)
−33.9
(−29)
−43.3
(−45.9)
−49.4
(−56.9)
Record low wind chill −60 −58 −55 −46 −36 −15 −7 −5 −12 −31 −47 −55 −60
Average precipitation mm (inches) 14.4
(0.567)
11.6
(0.457)
15.5
(0.61)
22.6
(0.89)
27
(1.06)
38.2
(1.504)
60.1
(2.366)
61.1
(2.406)
70.1
(2.76)
58.6
(2.307)
50.6
(1.992)
30.3
(1.193)
559.9
(22.043)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0
(0)
0.1
(0.004)
0.1
(0.004)
3.6
(0.142)
12.6
(0.496)
33.6
(1.323)
59.5
(2.343)
61.1
(2.406)
62.2
(2.449)
28.2
(1.11)
3.2
(0.126)
0.4
(0.016)
264.6
(10.419)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 15
(5.9)
12
(4.7)
16.1
(6.34)
19.4
(7.64)
14.6
(5.75)
4.4
(1.73)
1.0
(0.39)
0
(0)
7.5
(2.95)
32.6
(12.83)
50.0
(19.69)
32.0
(12.6)
204.6
(80.52)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.09 0.04 0.09 1.2 4.5 8.5 12.8 15.1 16.2 8.6 1.2 0.13 68.5
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.8 9.2 9.3 9.9 8.4 3.6 0.26 0.13 5.0 15.6 20.3 15.3 107.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 63.5 122.5 182.5 183.2 159.4 209.4 226.0 171.7 97.9 50.4 31.8 35.2 1,533.5
Percent possible sunshine 28.6 46.7 49.9 42.5 30.6 38.4 41.6 36.0 25.4 15.8 13.4 17.5 32.2
Source: Environment Canada[6]

Temperatures in Inukjuak are below freezing from mid-October to late May – the pronounced seasonal lag means May averages colder than October, April colder than November, and March colder than December. Only during a freakish warm wave on 5 December 1923 has Inukjuak recorded a temperature above 10 °C or 50 °F between November and April, whilst January has only topped freezing in 1940.[7] During the early winter snowfall is very heavy, averaging 0.5 metres or 19.7 inches in November but tapering off somewhat as the freezing of Hudson Bay completes and reduces the availability of moisture. The most monthly snowfall has been 1.55 metres or 61 inches in November 1933 and the most in one day 0.43 metres (16.9 in) on 11 November 1934, whilst the highest depth of snow on the ground has been 1.79 metres or 70.5 inches on 14 April 1955.

Snow usually melts when temperatures rise above freezing late in May, with typically only 0.07 metres or 2.8 inches remaining on the ground at the beginning of June. Summer weather in Inukjuak, due to the cool Hudson Bay and prevailing cyclonic weather, is generally damp and unsettled, with rainfall especially frequent in August and September as the bay thaws completely: these months expect rain on more than half the days. Occasional spells of hot weather occur when the wind drives air from the hotter continent onto the coast: the record high temperature is 30 °C or 86 °F on 8 June 1955. By the end of September temperatures are already falling to near freezing and October sees the beginning of the long winter and a return to heavy snow drive by the western side of the Icelandic Low.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Melanie McGrath, The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. ISBN 0-00-715796-7 (London: Fourth Estate, 2006) and ISBN 1-4000-4047-7 (New York: Random House, 2007). The story of forced removal of Inuit peoples in Canada in 1953, including Robert Flaherty's illegitimate Inuit son Joseph.

External links[edit]