Grise Fiord

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Grise Fiord
ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ
Aujuittuq
Downtown Grise Fiord.jpg
Downtown Grise Fiord, March 2004
GriseFiord.svg
Canada Nunavut location map-lambert proj3.svg
Red pog.svg
Grise Fiord
Canada location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Grise Fiord
Coordinates: 76°25′00″N082°53′45″W / 76.41667°N 82.89583°W / 76.41667; -82.89583 [1] Coordinates: 76°25′00″N082°53′45″W / 76.41667°N 82.89583°W / 76.41667; -82.89583 [2]
CountryCanada
Territory Nunavut
Region Qikiqtaaluk
Electoral district Quttiktuq
High Arctic relocation 1953
Government
  MayorMeeka Kiguktak
   MLA David Akeeagok
Area
[5]
  Total332.90 km2 (128.53 sq mi)
Elevation
 (at airport) [6]
41 m (135 ft)
Population
 (2021) [5]
  Total144
  Density0.4/km2 (1/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−05:00 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Canadian Postal code
Area code(s) 867, Exchange: 980

Grise Fiord ( /ɡrzfiˈɔːrd/ ; Inuktitut : ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ, romanized: Aujuittuq, lit. 'place that never thaws') 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 (144 residents as of the 2021 Canadian census), [5] it is the largest community (and only public 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).

Contents

History

Grise Fiord Church, which was destroyed by fire on February 27, 2018 Grise Fiord Church.jpg
Grise Fiord Church, which was destroyed by fire on February 27, 2018

Creation

Monument to the first Inuit exiles of 1952 and 1955 Life size monument.jpg
Monument to the first Inuit exiles of 1952 and 1955

This community (and that of Resolute) was created by the Canadian government in 1953, partly to assert sovereignty in the High Arctic during the Cold War. Eight Inuit families from Inukjuak, Quebec (on the Ungava Peninsula), were relocated after being promised homes and game to hunt, but the relocated people discovered no buildings and very little familiar wildlife. [8] They were told that they would be returned home after a year if they wished, but this offer was later withdrawn, for it would have damaged Canada's claims to sovereignty in the area; the Inuit were forced to stay. Eventually, the Inuit learned the local beluga whale migration routes and were able to survive in the area, hunting over a range of 18,000 km2 (6,900 sq mi) each year. [9]

In 1993, the Canadian government held hearings to investigate the relocation program. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued a report entitled The High Arctic Relocation: A Report on the 1953–55 Relocation, recommending a settlement. [10] The government paid CAD10 million to the survivors and their families, [11] and gave a formal apology in 2010. [12]

In 2009, artist and Grise Fiord resident Looty Pijamini was commissioned by Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated to build a monument to commemorate the Inuit who sacrificed so much as a result of the Government's forced relocation programme of 1953 and 1955. Pijamini's monument, located in Grise Fiord, depicts a woman with a young boy and a husky, with the woman sombrely looking out towards Resolute Bay. Amagoalik's monument, located in Resolute, depicts a lone man looking towards Grise Fiord. This was meant to show separated families, and depicting them longing to see each other again. [13] The Grise Fiord monument was unveiled by John Duncan, at the time, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, on September 10, 2010. [14] [15]

Grise Fiord was the location for a 1995 BBC documentary entitled Billy Connolly: A Scot in the Arctic, in which the comedian Billy Connolly camped alone for a week on the pack ice near to the community, armed with a rifle to protect him from polar bears.

Geography

Grise Fiord View of Grise Fiord.jpg
Grise Fiord

Located at the southern tip of Ellesmere Island, Grise Fiord is one of three permanent inhabited places on the island; further north on the island Environment Canada has a permanent weather station at Eureka, and at Alert there is a permanent Canadian Forces Base (CFS Alert) and weather station. Grise Fiord lies 1,160 km (720 mi) north of the Arctic Circle, and is the northernmost civilian community in Canada. [16]

Grise Fiord is cradled by the Arctic Cordillera mountain range.

Demographics

Federal census population history of Grise Fiord
YearPop.±%
1976121    
1981106−12.4%
1986114+7.5%
1991 130+14.0%
1996 148+13.8%
2001 163+10.1%
2006 141−13.5%
2011 130−7.8%
2016 129−0.8%
2021 144+11.6%
Source: Statistics Canada
[17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Grise Fiord had a population of 144 living in 58 of its 64 total private dwellings, a change of

Community and fiord names

Just to the north of the community is the actual fiord, Grise Fiord. It means "pig inlet" in Norwegian. Otto Sverdrup from Norway named it so during an expedition around 1900 because he thought the walrus in the area sounded like pigs.

The Inuktitut name is ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ (Aujuittuq), which means "place that never thaws".

Living conditions

Artist Looty Pijamini in his shop Nunavut's infamous carver.jpg
Artist Looty Pijamini in his shop

The houses are wooden and built on platforms to cope with the freezing and thawing of the permafrost. Hunting is still an important part of the lifestyle of the mostly Inuit population. Quota systems allow the villagers to supply many of their needs from populations of seals, walruses, narwhal and beluga whales, polar bears and muskox. Ecotourism is developing as people come to see the northern wildlife found on Ellesmere and surrounding islands. [26]

Transportation

There are no connecting roads on Ellesmere Island, so Grise Fiord is connected to the rest of the world by a small airstrip (Grise Fiord Airport), 1,675 ft (511 m) in length. Surrounded by mountains, it has one of the most difficult approaches for aircraft; it is cautioned that only very experienced pilots of Pilatus PC-12, DHC-6 Twin Otter, and DHC-7 aircraft attempt the approach. [6]

For local travel needs, the villagers use all-terrain vehicles in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. During the winter months travel is limited to the town site and a small patch of land to the east called Nuvuk due to mountains and ice fields that cut the town off from the rest of the island. Small boats are used in summer to reach hunting grounds, or hunting sea mammals on the ocean. Once a year large ships (sealift) arrive with supplies and fuel.

Economy, development, and sustainability

The local co-operative is the main place to purchase supplies. There are local guide and outfitting operations, which are an important source of income for many families. Carving, traditional clothing and other Inuit crafts are also important sources of income. Due to the extreme location, the economy is subsistence-based. Because of the potential for avalanches and falling rocks from mountains, there is no room for expansion.[ citation needed ]

Communications

Canada's northernmost RCMP station Royal Canadian Mounted Police.jpg
Canada's northernmost RCMP station

In 1970, Bell Canada established what was then the world's most northerly telephone exchange (operated since 1992 by Northwestel). It is in the 867 area code (formerly 819 before October 1997) with its only exchange code of 980.

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. In 2019, Bell Mobility became available to Grise Fiord. [27] [28]

Crime and safety

A Simon Fraser University study of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) activity in the Baffin Region states that Grise Fiord had the lowest rate of criminal offences of all communities examined in 1992, [29] and cites a 1994 Statistics Canada survey that gives the highest perception of personal safety. [30]

Climate

Grise Fiord has a tundra climate (ET) with very short but cool summers and long, cold winters lasting almost the entire year.

Climate data for Grise Fiord (Grise Fiord Airport)
WMO ID: 71971; coordinates 76°25′22″N82°54′08″W / 76.42278°N 82.90222°W / 76.42278; -82.90222 (Cambridge Bay Airport) ; elevation: 44.5 m (146 ft)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)−0.6
(30.9)
−0.5
(31.1)
2.7
(36.9)
10.5
(50.9)
12.5
(54.5)
15.0
(59.0)
15.6
(60.1)
14.1
(57.4)
8.5
(47.3)
7.5
(45.5)
3.0
(37.4)
4.0
(39.2)
15.6
(60.1)
Average high °C (°F)−24
(−11)
−27
(−17)
−24
(−11)
−15
(5)
−5
(23)
3
(37)
7
(45)
6
(43)
0
(32)
−7
(19)
−15
(5)
−20
(−4)
−10
(14)
Daily mean °C (°F)−27
(−17)
−29
(−20)
−26
(−15)
−18
(0)
−7
(19)
1
(34)
5
(41)
4
(39)
−1
(30)
−9
(16)
−17
(1)
−23
(−9)
−12
(10)
Average low °C (°F)−30
(−22)
−32
(−26)
−29
(−20)
−20
(−4)
−9
(16)
0
(32)
3
(37)
3
(37)
−2
(28)
−10
(14)
−19
(−2)
−25
(−13)
−14
(6)
Record low °C (°F)−47.0
(−52.6)
−47.0
(−52.6)
−46.0
(−50.8)
−40.5
(−40.9)
−30.5
(−22.9)
−13.0
(8.6)
−5.0
(23.0)
−7.4
(18.7)
−16.0
(3.2)
−29.0
(−20.2)
−41.1
(−42.0)
−42.0
(−43.6)
−47.0
(−52.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches)4.7
(0.19)
5.2
(0.20)
10.4
(0.41)
7.0
(0.28)
12.8
(0.50)
20
(0.8)
24.7
(0.97)
25.0
(0.98)
13.2
(0.52)
15.4
(0.61)
9.9
(0.39)
8.2
(0.32)
156.5
(6.17)
Source 1: [31] [32]
Source 2: Meteo Climate (extremes) [33]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

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  2. "Grise Fiord". Geographical Names Data Base . Natural Resources Canada.
  3. "NunatsiaqOnline 2013-12-03: NEWS: Nunavummiut vie for council positions in upcoming hamlet elections". 4 December 2013.
  4. Results for the constituency of Quttiktuq Archived 2013-11-13 at the Wayback Machine at Elections Nunavut
  5. 1 2 3 "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2022-03-04.
  6. 1 2 Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  7. Grise Fiord's only church a 'total loss' after late night fire
  8. "Grise Fiord: History". Grisefiord.ca. Archived from the original on 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
  9. McGrath, Melanie. The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 (268 pages) Hardcover: ISBN   0-00-715796-7 Paperback: ISBN   0-00-715797-5
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  26. "Grise Fiord: Wildlife".
  27. CTS 2018: It's not easy to bring wireless to the top of the world
  28. Competitive cell service coming to all Nunavut communities by 2019
  29. Curt Taylor Griffiths, Gregory Saville, Darryl S. Wood, and Evelyn Zellerer. POLICING THE BAFFIN REGION, N.W.T.: Findings From the Eastern Arctic Crime and Justice Study, 1995
  30. "Aboriginal Peoples Survey", Statistics Canada, 1994, cited on p17 of Curt Taylor Griffiths, Gregory Saville, Darryl S. Wood, and Evelyn Zellerer, POLICING THE BAFFIN REGION, N.W.T.: Findings From the Eastern Arctic Crime and Justice Study
  31. Annual Weather Averages in Grise Fiord
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  33. "71971: Grise Fiord Climate, Nu (Canada)". ogimet.com. OGIMET. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.