The Kitikmeot spans the northern mainland of Canada to the mythical heart of the Northwest Passage and is a crossroads of the Arctic - bringing together an amazing array of ecosystems and cultures. The most western region of the Territory, the Kitikmeot communities are abundant in wildlife. Huge herds of caribou migrate across the rolling tundra, followed by a wealth of wolves, muskox, grizzly bears and migratory birds. This rich land provides those who yearn for nature with the ultimate retreat. The waters north of the mainland are filled with marine mammals. Giant bowhead whales mix with smaller beluga and narwhals in the fabled waters of the Northwest Passage.
The Kitikmeot Region
The Kitikmeot Region
It is here that the true story of Arctic exploration rests. For thousands of years Inuit were students of the land and have become masters of survival in this often harsh environment. These communities have thrived through the deep understanding of the land and waters and you can experience first hand the bounties of this understanding. Local people will show you the magic of the land and will tell you the story of Arctic exploration passed from generation to generation. The spectacular story of the ill-fated Franklin expedition on the HMS Terror and Erebus in 1845 ends here, in Terror Bay where the wrecks were located and the gravesites still exist on Beechy Island.
It is through the expertise of these people that you will be able to follow in the footsteps of early European explorers, but succeed where they failed. You will learn that the Northwest Passage and the Kitikmeot region is not a waypoint, but an enthralling destination filled with riches that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Remote lodges provide you an opportunity to connect with the land in a way that will leave you awe-struck. These experiences offer authentic interaction with Inuit culture that is both natural and immersive.
Wildlife photography and hunting opportunities are plentiful in the region and the fish caught in the Kitikmeot are some of the best you will taste.
Regardless of what communities you visit in this region, you will find yourself amazed at this unique region of Canada.
The Kitikmeot Region
Explore more regions and communities in Nunavut
Home to millions of caribou and thousands of polar bears, the Kivalliq Region will provide you with an Arctic experience that is second to none. It is here that you will find the great expanse of the Arctic tundra - rolling hills that stretch from horizon to horizon - this is also a home for some of Nunavut’s largest lakes and rivers, providing you with not only an amazing wildlife experience, but unparalleled paddling, hunting and fishing as well.
The Kitikmeot spans the northern mainland of Canada to the mythical heart of the Northwest Passage and is a crossroads of the Arctic - bringing together an amazing array of ecosystems and cultures. The most western region of the Territory, the Kitikmeot communities are abundant in wildlife.
The Baffin Region of Nunavut is as diverse as it is iconic. Stretching from Sanikiluaq in the southern waters of Hudson’s Bay to the tip of Ellesmere Island, there is much to explore in this incredible area.
When you close your eyes and imagine the Arctic, you are likely picturing the hamlet of Arctic Bay. Nestled snugly amidst stunning mountains, Arctic Bay is a traditional community heavily reliant on hunting, fishing, and tourism, It provides visitors with a wide range of Arctic experiences- Inuit culture and tradition, rare Arctic wildlife, and awe-inspiring scenery.
A nature lover’s dream, Naujaat,meaning seagull nesting place, is a must see destination located right on the Arctic Circle. The gateway to Ukkusiksalik National Park, Naujaat is home to almost all arctic animals - polar bears, narwhal, bowhead whales, and seals.
Located on the western shores of Hudson’s Bay, Arviat has become the premier destination for viewing Nunavut’s treasured wildlife. In Inuktitut, Arviat means ‘place of the bowhead whale’. Arviat is also reknown for caribou, beluga whales, bird watching, and polar bears.
Nowhere else in the Arctic is the absolute majesty of the land, and the rhythms of Inuit life as accessible as Pangnirtung. Also known as Pangniqtuuq in Inuktitut,meaning ‘place of bull caribou’, it is the southern community gateway to Auyuittuq National Park.
Baker Lake’s Inuktitut name is Qamani’tuaq, means “ where the river widens”, those who experience canoeing the great Arctic rivers – the Thelon and the Kazan - know that this is true: Baker Lake is ‘where the river widens’ having reached their final destination.
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik - Place where Mitima is buried) is renowned for its scenery. Located at the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage on the Eclipse Sound and overlooking famous Bylot Island, mountain ranges are viewable in all directions and icebergs often dot the ocean.
Cambridge Bay, in Inuktitut ‘Ikalutuuttiaq’, means ‘good fishing place’, has been a gathering place for Inuit for over 4000 years. Today, Cambridge Bay continues to welcome Inuit and visitors alike, embracing the traditions of the past while building for the future.
Located at the northern entrance to Auyuittuq National Park, Qikiqtarjuaq is a welcoming and picturesque community. Qikiqtarjuaq is the Inuktitut word meaning ‘big island’.
Inuit have congregated in the area for over 3000 years, drawn by the wildlife that provided the necessities of life. The ancient Dorest people are referred to as 'Tuniit' or 'Sivullirmiut' in Inuktitut and historians believe that the Dorset Culture people were perhaps the first North Americans ever encountered by Europeans who visited Baffin Island sometime before 1000 AD. The Dorset people became extinct by 1500 AD, however mystical traces of them are still visible while hiking Mallikjuaq or Dorset Island.
Rankin Inlet, also known as Kangiqtiniq in Inuktitut meaning ‘deep inlet’, is a modern and vibrant community that is a blend of cultures and traditions. This mixture of Inuit and European culture, the old and the new economy, and the blending of Inuit from many tribal backgrounds led to a generation of prominent leaders that started the movement towards creation of the Nunavut territory.
Chesterfield Inlet, located on the northwestern coast of Hudson Bay, is the oldest established community in Nunavut. The Inuktitut name is Igluligaarjuk 'Place with a few Thule Houses’). There are archaeological sites where the ancient Dorset peoples (500BC – 1,500AD) are believed to have camped in the summers.
Resolute Bay is one of the most fascinating communities in Nunavut. Because of the long winter night in the extreme north of Nunavut, its Inuktitut name is Qausuittuq meaning ‘place with no dawn.’
There is a special magic in the air around Clyde River. Its Inuktitut name, Kangitugaapik meaning ‘nice little inlet’, belies its stunning beauty and its importance to Inuit for nearly 2000 years.
Sanikiluaq is Nunavut’s southern-most community, located in the Belcher Islands of southeastern Hudson’s Bay. Its isolation from other Nunavut communities and its proximity to Northern Quebec makes Sanikiluaq uniquely different.
Coral Harbour, in Inuktitut Salliq meaning ‘large flat island in front of the mainland’ is located on Southampton Island at the north end of Hudson Bay. It has been a traditional meeting place for Inuit since 500 BC because of the abundance of marine life and migratory birds. It is the base for the best walrus and whale viewing at nearby Coats Island.
Taloyoak (Inuktitut for ‘Large Caribou Hunting Blind’) is a unique community, defined by the strength of the people and the ruggedness of the land. Formerly called Spence Bay, Taloyoak provides you with glimpses into Inuit culture and wildlife.
Gjoa Haven is located on the southeast coast of King William Island at the heart of the Northwest Passage. It is also called Uqsuqtuuk which means ‘place of plenty blubber’ in Inuktitut. The name Gjoa is named after Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen’s ship during his expedition through the Northwest Passage.
Whale Cove is located on a long point of land extending into Hudson’s Bay. The Inuktitut name, Tikirarjuaq meaning ‘long point’, reflects this geography. The English name, Whale Cove refers to the many beluga whales that congregate off the coast every fall.
Grise Fiord, also known as Aujuittuq in Inuktitut meaning ‘place that never thaws’, nestles amongst majestic mountains at the end of a stunning fiord. As one of the the most isolated communities in the North, the people of Grise Fiord have overcome hardship to establish a home in one of the most beautiful parts of Canada.
Called Sanirajaq, meaning ‘the shoreline’, the Inuit of Hall Beach have enjoyed and benefitted from the abundance of marine life, including walruses and beluga whales for thousands of years.
Millions of people from around the world were captivated by the stark beauty of the Igloolik area through the award-winning films of Igloolik-based Isuma Productions. These films tell many stories of Inuit life and the connections with Europeans, but what they subtly showcase is the tremendous cultural knowledge of the people that reside in Igloolik- hunters, storytellers, keepers of traditional knowledge. When you visit Igloolik you feel as you are entering the spirit of Inuit culture.
Canada’s newest capital will provide you with a fascinating glimpse of the Nunavut territory and its ever-changing culture. The bustling capital is a modern Inuit community, home to Inuit people from around the Territory as well as proud newcomers from around the world.
If you are looking for the heart of Nunavut, look no further than Kimmirut, which means “the heel’ in Inuktitut, a reference to the shape of a hill near the community.
The Inuit of Kugaaruk (Inuktitut for ‘little stream’) were amongst the last indigenous peoples in North America to have contact with Europeans in the latter part of the 19th century. Inuit have lived in the area for thousands of years as this was an important place for both caribou and sea mammal hunting.
Kugluktuk will provide you with a unique Nunavut experience that is hard to forget. In the local Inuinnaqtun dialect, Qurluktuk means ‘place of moving water’, which is a very good description of a community tied closely to the magnificent Coppermine River.
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Nunavut is a place that will awaken and inspire you. Explore our communities and experience tourism offerings like nowhere else.
There’s so much to discover.
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What's on your travel bucket list? Experience the rare and unique arctic wildlife. Take a ride on a dog sled across ancient Inuit hunting trails. Witness centuries-old traditions in modern time. All of this is possible in Nunavut.