Qikiqtaaluk Region

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"Qikiqtani" redirects here. For the school division, see Qikiqtani School Operations.
Nunavut Qikiqtaaluk Region.png

The Qikiqtaaluk Region, Qikiqtani Region (Inuktitut: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ pronounced: [qikiqtaːˈluk]) or Baffin Region is the most populated and the most eastern[1] administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. Qikiqtaaluk is the traditional Inuktitut name for Baffin Island. Although the Qikiqtaaluk Region is the most commonly used name in official contexts, several notable public organisations, including Statistics Canada[2] prefer the older term Baffin Region.

The region consists of Baffin Island, the Belcher Islands, Akimiski Island, Mansel Island, Prince Charles Island, Bylot Island, Devon Island, Cornwallis Island, Bathurst Island, Amund Ringnes Island, Ellef Ringnes Island, Axel Heiberg Island, Ellesmere Island, the Melville Peninsula, the eastern part of Melville Island, and the northern parts of Prince of Wales Island, and Somerset Island, plus smaller islands in between. The regional seat is Iqaluit (population 7,250). The Qikiqtaaluk Region spans the northernmost, easternmost, and southernmost areas of Nunavut.

Before 1999, the Qikiqtaaluk Region existed under slightly different boundaries as the Baffin Region, District of Keewatin, Northwest Territories.

Canada claims Hans Island as part of Qikiqtaaluk, while Denmark considers it to be part of the Greenlandic municipality of Qaasuitsup.


All of Qikiqtaaluk's thirteen communities are located on tidal water and about half of its residents live in Nunavut's capital, Iqaluit. The other half live in twelve hamlets—Arctic Bay, Cape Dorset, Clyde River, Grise Fiord, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Kimmirut, Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet, Qikiqtarjuaq, Resolute and Sanikiluaq. Alert (CFS Alert) and Eureka are part of the unorganized Areas in Qikiqtaaluk.

Formerly there was a mining town at Nanisivik. However, it and the Nanisivik Mine closed in 2002, with Nanisivik Airport closing in 2010 and all flights transferred to Arctic Bay Airport.

Like the majority of Canada's Inuit communities, the regions traditional country food includes seal, Arctic char, walrus, polar bear and caribou-which are abundant.[1]


Iqaluit waterfront, 2011

Iqaluit has the Astro Hill Complex, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Legislative Building of Nunavut and the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre.


According to anthropologists and historians, the Inuit are the descendants of the Thule culture who displaced the Dorset culture (in Inuktitut, the Tuniit).[3][4] By 1300 the Inuit had trade routes with more southern cultures.[5]


About 1910 Europeans markets increased their interest in white fox pelts. The distribution and mobility of Inuit changed as the expanded their traditional hunting and fishing routes to participate in the white fox fur trade. Traditional food staples—such as seal and caribou—were not always found in the same regions as white fox.[1] The Hudson's Bay Company—which was chartered in 1670—had been opening fur trading posts throughout Inuit and First Nations territory. By 1910, the HBC was restructured into a lands sales department, retail and fur trade. The HBC dominated the fur trade under minimal supervision from the Canadian government, and some Anglican and Catholic missionaries who lived near remote northern hamlets. By 1922 most of imported goods acquired by Inuit were from the HBC.[1]


Between 1950 and 1975 thirteen northern communities were relocated.[1]

Killing of the sled dogs[edit]

In the 1950s and 1960s the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and others in authority undertook "the widespread killing of sled dogs".[1]

Reconciliation and truth commissions[edit]

The Qikigtani Truth Commission—which was commissioned, conducted, and paid for by an Aboriginal organization, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and took place from 2007 to 2010—brought together historians and Inuit to revisit the history of the Qikigtaaluk Region.[1]

Protected areas[edit]


Canada 2006 Census[2]

  • Population: 15,765
  • Population change (2001–2006): +9.7%
  • Private dwellings: 5,103
  • Area: 1,040,417.90 km2 (401,707.60 sq mi)
  • Density: 0.015 inhabitants per square kilometre (0.039/sq mi)
  • National rank in terms of population: 248th out of 288
  • Territorial rank in terms of population: 1st out of 3

Surrounding census divisions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Philip Goldring (Winter 2015). "Historians and Inuit: learning from the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, 2007-2010". Canadian Journal of History. University of Toronto via GALE. 50 (3): 492. doi:10.3138/CJH.ACH.50.3.005. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b 2006 Canada Census
  3. ^ Rigby, Bruce. "101. Qaummaarviit Historic Park, Nunavut Handbook" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 29, 2006. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Dorsets: Depicting Culture Through Soapstone Carving" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 30, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Innu Culture 3. Innu-Inuit 'Warfare'". 1999, Adrian Tanner Department of Anthropology-Memorial University of Newfoundland. Retrieved October 5, 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kavik, Lisi, and Miriam Fleming. Qikiqtamiut Cookbook. [Sanikiluaq, Nunavut]: Municipality of Sanikiluaq, 2002. ISBN 1-896445-22-5

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 70°N 080°W / 70°N 80°W / 70; -80 (Qikiqtaaluk Region)