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Sanikiluaq in December
Sanikiluaq in December
Sanikiluaq is located in Nunavut
Sanikiluaq is located in Canada
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
RegionQikiqtaaluk Region
Electoral districtHudson Bay
 • TypeHamlet Council
 • MayorElijassie Kavik
 • MLAAllan Rumbolt
 • Total114.94 km2 (44.38 sq mi)
Elevation32 m (105 ft)
 • Total882
 • Density7.7/km2 (20/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Canadian Postal code
Area code(s)867

Sanikiluaq (Inuktitut: ᓴᓂᑭᓗᐊᖅ [sanikiluaq]) 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. As of the 2016 census the population was 882, an 8.6% increase over the 2011 census.[3]


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. To the north of the town is Kinngaaluk Territorial Park, a 3,300 acres (1,300 ha) space designed for camping, cultural expression, and seasonal hunting. The park contains archeological remains deposited by the Dorset and Thule cultures. The park is expected to be formally designated as such by the Nunavut legislature in 2019.[5]

Economic development[edit]

Sanikiluaq had an eider down factory for 20 years. It closed down in 2005 due to government funding running out and the population of eider ducks decreasing at a rapid rate.[6] The factory reopened in June 2015.[7]


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.[8] Paatsaali School has 177 students and teaches grades 7-12.[9] In 2007, former Principal Lisi Kavik was named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals.[10]

Broadband communications[edit]

The community has been served by the Qiniq network since 2005. Qiniq is a fixed wireless service to homes and businesses, connecting to the outside world via a satellite backbone. The Qiniq network is designed and operated by SSI Micro. In 2017, the network was upgraded to 4G LTE technology, and 2G-GSM for mobile voice.


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

In the territorial election held October 27, 2008, the candidates were Rumbolt, Bill Fraser and Johnny Manning. Rumbolt won by 31 votes over Fraser, with 45 per cent of the vote. 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, five more than incumbent Joe Arragutainaq.[11] 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 is a documentary film about the relationship between climate change, hydroelectric dams, eider ducks and the people of the Belcher Islands.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nunavummiut elect new municipal leaders
  2. ^ a b Results for the constituency of Hudson Bay Archived 2013-11-13 at the Wayback Machine at Elections Nunavut
  3. ^ a b c "Census Profile, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  4. ^ Elevation at airport. Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 25 April 2019 to 0901Z 20 June 2019.
  5. ^ Barth, Brian "In the Hunt: A New Park in Nunavut, Canada is Made to Protect Indigenous Hunting Grounds" Landscape Architecture Magazine. Pages 62-83 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Sanikiluaq eiderdown factory could be running by March". CBC News. 2014-11-18.
  7. ^ Weber, Bob (June 21, 2015). "Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, opens eiderdown factory to feather its nest". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  8. ^ Nuiyak Elementary School
  9. ^ Paatsaali High School
  10. ^ "Canada's Outstanding Principals". The Learning Partnership. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  11. ^ Mayors-elect react to their win Archived 2013-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Documentary about ducks in Hudson Bay investigates our role in the cycle of life". Prince George Citizen, March 2, 2012.

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.