|Electoral district||Gjoa Haven|
|• Mayor||Megan Porter|
|• MLA||Tony Akoak|
|• MP||Lori Idlout|
|• Total||28.55 km2 (11.02 sq mi)|
|• Population Centre||0.70 km2 (0.27 sq mi)|
|Elevation||47 m (154 ft)|
|• Density||47.3/km2 (123/sq mi)|
|• Population Centre||1,110|
|• Population Centre density||1,586.2/km2 (4,108/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−07:00 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−06:00 (MDT)|
|Canadian Postal code|
Gjoa Haven ( // ; Inuktitut: Uqsuqtuuq, syllabics: ᐅᖅᓱᖅᑑᖅ [ pronunciation? ], meaning "lots of fat", referring to the abundance of sea mammals in the nearby waters; French pronunciation: [ɡʒɔa avɑ̃] or [ɡʒɔa evən]) is an Inuit hamlet in Nunavut, above the Arctic Circle, located in the Kitikmeot Region, 1,056 km (656 mi) northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It is the only settlement on King William Island.
The name Gjoa Haven is from the Norwegian Gjøahavn or "Gjøa's Harbour"; it was named by early 20th-century polar explorer Roald Amundsen after his ship Gjøa. This was derived from the old Norse name Gyða, a compressed compound form of Guðfríðr (guð "god" and fríðr "beautiful"').
In 1903, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had entered the area on his ship Gjøa in an expedition intending to travel through the Northwest Passage. By October the straits through which he was travelling began to ice up. Amundsen put Gjøa into a natural harbour on the southeast coast of King William Island. He stayed there, in what Amundsen called "the finest little harbor in the world", for nearly two years. He and his crew spent much of that time with the local Netsilik, learning from them the skills to live off the land and travel efficiently in the Arctic environment. This knowledge proved to be vital for Amundsen's later successful exploration to the South Pole. He explored the Boothia Peninsula, searching for the exact location of the north magnetic pole.
Some Inuit in Gjoa Haven with European ancestry have claimed to be descendants of Amundsen (or one of his six crew, whose names have not remained as well known). Accounts by members of the expedition told of their relations with Inuit women, and historians have speculated that Amundsen might also have taken a partner,although he wrote a warning against this. Specifically, half brothers Bob Konona and Paul Ikuallaq say that their father Luke Ikuallaq (b. 1904) told them on his deathbed that he was the son of Amundsen. Konona said that their father Ikuallaq was left out on the ice to die after his birth, as his European ancestry made him illegitimate to the Inuit, threatening their community. His Inuit grandparents saved him. In 2012, Y-DNA analysis, with the families' permission, showed that Ikuallaq (and his sons) was not a match to the direct male line of Amundsen. Not all descendants claiming European ancestry have been tested for a match to Amundsen, nor has there been a comparison of Ikuallaq's DNA to that of other European members of Amundsen's crew.
Permanent European-style settlement at Gjoa Haven started in 1927 when the Hudson's Bay Company opened a trading post.In 1941 Henry Larsen reached the post from the west. The settlement has attracted the traditionally nomadic Inuit as they have adapted a more settled lifestyle.
In 1961, the town's population was 110. By 2001, the population was 960 according to the census, as most Inuit have moved from their traditional camps to be close to the healthcare and educational facilities available at Gjoa Haven.
Gjoa Haven has expanded to such an extent that a newer subdivision has been developed near the airport at.
The community is served by the Gjoa Haven Airport and by annual supply sealift. The area is home to CAM-CB, a North Warning System site.
|Source: Statistics Canada |
In the 2021 Canadian census conducted by Statistics Canada, Gjoa Haven had a population of 1,349 living in 292 of its 339 total private dwellings, a change of 1.9% from its 2016 population of 1,324. With a land area of 28.55 km2 (11.02 sq mi), it had a population density of 47.3/km2 (122.4/sq mi) in 2021. The median age of the community was 23.0 with 22.0 for men and 23.8 for women. The average age was 26.5 with 26.4 for men and 26.6 for women.
In the 2021 Canadian census, Gjoa Haven's Population Centre recorded 1,110 people living in an area of 0.70 km2 (0.27 sq mi), giving a population density of 1,585.7/km2 (4,107.0/sq mi).
Two churches are located in the hamlet:
Gjoa Haven has a tundra climate (ET) with short but cool summers and long cold winters.
|Climate data for Gjoa Haven (Gjoa Haven Airport)|
Climate ID: 2302335; coordinates ; elevation: 46.9 m (154 ft); 1981–2010 normals
|Record high humidex||−7.4||−11.3||−6.6||0.2||2.6||19.4||26.7||23.0||16.0||4.2||−1.4||−1.9||26.7|
|Record high °C (°F)||−6.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||−30.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−33.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||−37.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−48.3|
|Record low wind chill||−64.2||−65.3||−64.5||−54.0||−38.1||−21.9||0.0||−12.9||−21.2||−48.1||−55.0||−62.5||−65.3|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||8.3|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||0.0|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||9.7|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||8.2||6.4||9.0||8.8||9.6||6.8||7.8||11.0||12.0||14.1||10.1||8.2||112.0|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.8||5.3||7.8||10.6||7.4||0.5||0.0||0.0||32.5|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||8.2||6.4||9.0||8.8||9.3||1.9||0.2||0.6||5.8||14.1||10.4||8.2||82.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||62.6||63.9||70.3||77.7||85.9||81.9||70.7||75.8||82.3||87.7||76.7||66.7||75.2|
|Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010|
Most employment in Gjoa Haven is with government services; there are a few commercial employers:
The discovery of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus shipwrecks from the Franklin's lost expedition is expected to bring increased tourism to Gjoa Haven, the nearest community to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site.Public access to the site is not allowed. To protect the site, Inuit from Gjoa Haven are employed as guardians, camping near the wreck sites to monitor access to the sites. The Nattilik Heritage Centre will be expanded to create a visitor centre for the historic site.
Gjoa Haven has three schools:
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 Canada. In 2017, the network was upgraded to 4G LTE technology, and 2G-GSM for mobile voice.
Square dancing is very popular in Gjoa Haven with many teams competing in annual showdowns (square dance tournaments).Inuit learned square dancing from the Scottish and American whalers active in the area in the mid-1800s. It is generally accompanied by accordion (or concertina) and fiddles and has its roots in round dances from Great Britain rather than Western American square dance. A single dance can take from 40 minutes to over an hour.
Grise Fiord is an Inuit hamlet on the southern tip of Ellesmere Island, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. It is one of three populated places on the island; despite its low population, it is the largest community on Ellesmere Island. The hamlet at Grise Fiord, created by the Canadian Government in 1953 through a relocation of Inuit families from Inukjuak, Quebec, is the northernmost public community in Canada. It is also one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, with an average yearly temperature of −16.5 °C (2.3 °F).
Igloolik is an Inuit hamlet in Foxe Basin, Qikiqtaaluk Region in Nunavut, northern Canada. Because its location on Igloolik Island is close to Melville Peninsula, it is often mistakenly thought to be on the peninsula. The name "Igloolik" means "there is a house here". It derives from iglu, meaning house or building, and refers to the sod houses that were originally in the area, not to snow igloos. In Inuktitut the residents are called Iglulingmiut.
Rankin Inlet is an Inuit hamlet on Kudlulik Peninsula in Nunavut, Canada. It is the largest hamlet and second-largest settlement in Nunavut, after the territorial capital, Iqaluit. On the northwestern Hudson Bay, between Chesterfield Inlet and Arviat, it is the regional centre for the Kivalliq Region.
Pangnirtung is an Inuit hamlet, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, located on Baffin Island. Pangnirtung is situated on a coastal plain at the coast of Pangnirtung Fjord, a fjord which eventually merges with Cumberland Sound. As of January 2022, the mayor is Stevie Komoartok.
Sanikiluaq is a municipality and Inuit community located on the north coast of Flaherty Island in Hudson Bay, on the Belcher Islands. Despite being geographically much closer to the shores of Ontario and Quebec, the community and the Belcher Islands lie within the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.
Arctic Bay is an Inuit hamlet located in the northern part of the Borden Peninsula on Baffin Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. Arctic Bay is located in the Eastern Time Zone although it is quite close to the time zone boundary. The predominant languages are Inuktitut and English. Arctic Bay is notable for being the birthplace of the former Premier of Nunavut and, as of 2021, the Commissioner of Nunavut, Eva Aariak. It is the northern most public community in Canada, not formed from forced relocation.
Kitikmeot Region is an administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. It consists of the southern and eastern parts of Victoria Island with the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, together with King William Island and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. The regional centre is Cambridge Bay.
King William Island is an island in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut, which is part of the Arctic Archipelago. In area it is between 12,516 km2 (4,832 sq mi) and 13,111 km2 (5,062 sq mi) making it the 61st-largest island in the world and Canada's 15th-largest island. Its population, as of the 2021 census, was 1,349, all of whom live in the island's only community, Gjoa Haven.
Arviat is a predominantly Inuit hamlet located on the western shore of Hudson Bay in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut, Canada. Arviat is derived from the Inuktitut word arviq meaning "Bowhead whale". Earlier in history, its name was Tikirajualaaq, and Ittaliurvik,.
Cambridge Bay is a hamlet located on Victoria Island in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut, Canada. It is the largest settlement on Victoria Island. Cambridge Bay is named for Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, while the traditional Inuinnaqtun name for the area is Ikaluktutiak or Iqaluktuuttiaq meaning "good fishing place".
Baker Lake is a hamlet in the Kivalliq Region, in Nunavut on mainland Canada. Located 320 km (200 mi) inland from Hudson Bay, it is near the nation's geographical centre, and is notable for being Nunavut's sole inland community. The hamlet is located at the mouth of the Thelon River on the shore of Baker Lake. The community was given its English name in 1761 from Captain William Christopher who named it after Sir William Baker, the 11th Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Kinngait, formerly known as Cape Dorset until 27 February 2020, is an Inuit hamlet located on Dorset Island near Foxe Peninsula at the southern tip of Baffin Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.
Qikiqtarjuaq is a community located on Broughton Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. The island is known for Arctic wildlife, bird watching, and as the northern access point for Auyuittuq National Park
Ulukhaktok is a small hamlet on the west coast of Victoria Island, in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada.
Clyde River is an Inuit hamlet located on the shore of Baffin Island's Patricia Bay, off Kangiqtugaapik, an arm of Davis Strait in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, of Nunavut, Canada. It lies in the Baffin Mountains which in turn form part of the Arctic Cordillera mountain range. The community is served by air and by annual supply sealift.
Chesterfield Inlet is a hamlet located on the western shore of Hudson Bay, Kivalliq Region, in Nunavut, Canada, at the mouth of Chesterfield Inlet. Igluligaarjuk is the Inuktitut word for "place with few houses", it is the oldest community in Nunavut. The community is served by air, Chesterfield Inlet Airport, and by an annual supply known as sealift.
Kugaaruk, formerly known as Pelly Bay until 3 December 1999, is located on the shore of Pelly Bay, just off the Gulf of Boothia, Simpson Peninsula, Kitikmeot, in Canada's Nunavut territory. Access is by air by the Kugaaruk Airport and by annual supply sealift. Kugaaruk means "little stream", the traditional name of the brook that flows through the hamlet.
The Northwest Passage Territorial Park is located at Gjoa Haven, on King William Island, Kitikmeot Region, Nunavut, Canada. The park consists of six areas that show in part the history of the exploration of the Northwest Passage and the first successful passage by Roald Amundsen in the Gjøa.
The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site is a National Historic Site of Canada near King William Island in the northern Nunavut territory. It protects the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, the two ships of the last expedition of Sir John Franklin, lost in the 1840s during their search for the Northwest Passage and then re-discovered in 2014 and 2016. The site is jointly managed by Parks Canada and the local Inuit. Public access to the site is not permitted.
Nattilik Heritage Centre is a museum in Gjoa Haven, King William Island, Nunavut, Canada. It presents the history and culture of the local Inuit.