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Sanikiluaq in December
Sanikiluaq in December
Sanikiluaq is located in Nunavut
Coordinates: 56°32′34″N 079°13′30″W / 56.54278°N 79.22500°W / 56.54278; -79.22500Coordinates: 56°32′34″N 079°13′30″W / 56.54278°N 79.22500°W / 56.54278; -79.22500
Country Canada
Territory Nunavut
Region Qikiqtaaluk Region
Electoral district Hudson Bay
 • Type Hamlet Council
 • Mayor Joe Arragutainaq
 • MLA Allan Rumbolt
 • Total 114.98 km2 (44.39 sq mi)
Elevation[4] 32 m (105 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 812
 • Density 7.1/km2 (18/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Canadian Postal code X0A 0W0
Area code(s) 867

Sanikiluaq (ᓴᓂᑭᓗᐊᖅ[pronunciation?]) is a municipality and Inuit community located on the north coast of Flaherty Island in Hudson Bay, on the Belcher Islands, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.


Landsat satellite photo of Belcher Islands

The community was developed in the early 1970s to replace "South Camp", located further south in the island group.

Economic development[edit]

Sanikiluaq had an eider down factory for 20 years. It closed down in 2005 due to government funding running out and population of eider ducks decreasing at a rapid rate. The factory is slated to reopen in March 2015.[5]


It is the southernmost community in the territory, and is served by the Sanikiluaq Airport. Air service is provided by Air Inuit and Calm Air.


There are two schools in the community, Nuiyak School, with 11 teaching staff, teaches grades K-6, with 125 students enrolled.[6] Paatsaali School has 177 students and teaches grades 7-12.[7] In 2007, former Principal Lisi Kavik was named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals.[8]


The community is in the Hudson Bay Electoral District and the previous member of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut is Peter Kattuk who was replaced by Allan Rumbolt in the 2008 general election.

In the territorial election that was held October 27, the candidates were Allan Rumbolt, Bill Fraser and Johnny Manning. Allan Rumbolt won by a narrow margin. In the 2013 general election Allan Rumbolt was reelected.[2]

The local municipality has a Hamlet Council of elected councillors. Former acting mayor Elijassie Sala became mayor after the December 12, 2011 election, earning 87 votes, only five more than incumbent Joe Arragutainaq.[9] In the December 9, 2013 hamlet elections, Joe Arragutainaq was once again elected mayor.[1]


Written and directed by Joel Heath, with support from the community of Sanikiluaq, "People of a Feather"[10] is a documentary film about the relationship between climate change, hydroelectric dams, eider ducks and the people of the Belcher Islands.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Arctic College. Stories from Sanikiluaq. Iqaluit, N.W.T.: Arctic College, Nunatta Campus, 1989. ISBN 1-55036-099-X
  • Canadian Arctic Producers Co-operative Ltd. Sanikiluaq, Belcher Islands Recent Sculpture. Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Producers, 1979.
  • Driscoll, Bernadette. Belcher Islands/Sanikiluaq The Winnipeg Art Gallery, June 27-August 30, 1981. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1981. ISBN 0-88915-095-8
  • Kavik, Lisi, and Miriam Fleming. Qikiqtamiut Cookbook. [Sanikiluaq, Nunavut]: Municipality of Sanikiluaq, 2002. ISBN 1-896445-22-5
  • Language of Sanikiluarmiut Snikiluarmiut Uquasingit. --. Sanikiluaq, N.W.T.?: s.n.], 1980s.
  • Report on Business Development and Resource Management Strategies for Eider Down Industry in Sanikiluaq, N.W.T. Sanikiluaq, N.W.T.?: s.n, 1990.
  • Wein, Eleanor E. Sanikiluaq Traditional Food Study Report. Edmonton: Canadian Circumpolar Institute, University of Alberta, 1995.