Rankin Inlet

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Rankin Inlet
Rankin Inlet From Air.jpg
Rankin Inlet from the air
Canada Nunavut location map-lambert proj3.svg
Red pog.svg
Rankin Inlet
Canada location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Rankin Inlet
Coordinates: 62°49′N092°05′W / 62.817°N 92.083°W / 62.817; -92.083 [1] Coordinates: 62°49′N092°05′W / 62.817°N 92.083°W / 62.817; -92.083 [1]
Territory Nunavut
Region Kivalliq
Electoral districts Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet
Rankin Inlet South
  TypeHamlet Council
  MayorHarry Towtongie
   MLAs Alexander Sammurtok
Lorne Kusugak
 (2021) [4]
  Total20.03 km2 (7.73 sq mi)
   Population centre 2.86 km2 (1.10 sq mi)
28 m (92 ft)
 (2021) [4] [6]
  Density148.5/km2 (385/sq mi)
  Population centre
  Population centre density942.6/km2 (2,441/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−06:00 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−05:00 (CDT)
Canadian Postal code
Area code 867
Telephone Exchange 645
NTS Map 55K16 Rankin Inlet
Waterway Hudson Bay
Website www.rankininlet.net

Rankin Inlet (Inuktitut : Kangiqliniq; [7] Inuktitut syllabics: ᑲᖏᕿᓂᖅ [8] or Kangirliniq, [9] ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᖅ, [8] or Kangir&iniq [10] meaning deep bay/inlet) is an Inuit hamlet on the Kudlulik Peninsula in Nunavut, Canada. [1] [11] 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.


In the 1995 Nunavut capital plebiscite, Iqaluit defeated Rankin Inlet to become territorial capital of Nunavut.


A Thule site at the Meliadine River near Rankin Inlet Meliadine River (Rankin Inlet) Thule-Site 1995-06-22.jpg
A Thule site at the Meliadine River near Rankin Inlet

Archaeological sites suggest the area was inhabited around 1200 CE by Thule people who were bowhead whale hunters. By the late 18th century, they were succeeded by Caribou Inuit who hunted the inland barren-ground caribou, and fished for Arctic char along the coast, as well as the Diane River and Meliadine River. The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) established itself throughout the bay in the 17th century, and after 1717, sloops from Churchill, Manitoba traded north to Rankin Inlet and beyond. There was an unfortunate expedition shipwrecked on Marble Island, 32 km (20 mi) east of Rankin Inlet: James Knight's expedition died on the island around 1722. It was surveyed by William Moor in 1747. HBC contact was followed in the mid-19th century by American and European whalers, who were followed by fur traders trapping Arctic foxes for their skins in the early 20th century, followed by missionaries who brought a written language system. [12] [13]

The town itself was founded by the owners of the Rankin Inlet Mine, just north of Johnston Cove. Starting in 1957, the mine produced nickel and copper ores from an underground operation. The mine was the first case of Inuit miners in Canada. When the mine closed in 1962, Rankin Inlet had a population of approximately 500 Inuit, and 70-80% had been mine workers. Several unsuccessful attempts followed to develop alternate sources of income for the town. These included a pig ranch in 1969 and a chicken-raising venture in the 1970s. Both animal groups were fed a diet of local fish, which gave the meat an unpleasant flavour. It was also common for the animals to freeze to death or be eaten by polar bears. [14]

The Meliadine Gold Mine operated by Agnico Eagle opened in 2019 and is expected to produce until at least 2032. It is the second mine opened in the low Arctic, after the Meadowbank Gold Mine, and is both an underground and open-pit mine. [15]

From 1985 to 1997, Kivalliq Hall operated as a boarding school for Inuit pupils; it had been recognized as a residential school for the pre-1995 period when it was operated by the Federal government. [16] [17]


Federal census population history of Rankin Inlet
1991 1,706+24.2%
1996 2,058+20.6%
2001 2,177+5.8%
2006 2,358+8.3%
2011 2,557+8.4%
2016 2,842+11.1%
2021 2,975+4.7%
Source: Statistics Canada
[4] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]
Downtown Rankin Inlet Downtown Rankin Inlet.jpg
Downtown Rankin Inlet

In the 2021 Canadian census conducted by Statistics Canada, Rankin Inlet had a population of 2,975 living in 826 of its 1,026 total private dwellings, a change of

Arts and culture

Rankin Inlet is not only notable for its artists and artisans, it is recognized as housing the only Inuit fine-arts ceramics production facility in the world. [27] Community artists work in a variety of media including ceramics, prints, bronze castings, carvings, watercolour and drawing. The Matchbox Gallery, founded in 1987, showcases art work and provides educational resources.

The community is served by Kivalliq News , a weekly newspaper which publishes in both English and Inuktitut.

The annual spring festival Pakallak Tyme includes a fishing competition and snowmobile races. [28]


The community is served by the Rankin Inlet Airport, and by annual supply sealift. Groceries and household goods can be purchased at The North West Company's Northern Store or at the Kissarvik Cooperative.

There are two convenience stores, one being The Red Top Variety Shop, formally the Innukshuk Shop, and the other being Kativik True Value Hardware. Both are locally owned and operated.

There are several places to dine out which include The Captain's Galley (which is in the Siniktarvik Hotel), Turrarvik Inns North (Kissarvik Cooperative) and three Tim Hortons (in the Northern Store and two convenience stores) [29] outlets.

There is an auto parts store called Rankin Auto Value. This store has automotive and heavy equipment parts, oils and tooling.

Broadband communications

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.


Rankin Inlet has several hotels, including the Siniktarvik Hotel [30] and Katimavik Suites. [31]


Rankin Inlet is notable for the chilling wind, severe winter storms, and water resources. The Diana River empties from the north into the hamlet's namesake inlet. The Kivalliq Region has several lakes, the largest being Nipissa Lake, and is flanked by two bays, Melvin Bay on the west and Prairie Bay on the east. Paniqtoq Peninsula, on the inlet's far western shore, provides a barrier shelter for the smaller Kivaliq Region. Dozens of islands dot the inlet, including Thomson Island, the largest, and the Barrier Islands, the longest chain. These natural resources attract tourists who hunt, fish, and canoe. The Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park, 10 km (6.2 mi) northwest of Rankin Inlet, is notable for hiking, fishing, bird watching and Thule archaeological sites. [32] [33]

Rankin Inlet Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.jpg
Rankin Inlet


Rankin Inlet has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc), just short of a tundra climate. It is above the tree line. Temperatures stay below freezing from late September to early June. Although the climate is subarctic, temperatures rise and fall too rapidly and do not stay above 10 °C (50 °F) for long enough (30 days) for trees to grow. Under the alternate formula for determining the boundary between Arctic and subarctic climates posited by Otto Nordenskjöld, however, Rankin Inlet, along with Arviat and Baker Lake, qualify as Arctic based on the relationship between the temperatures of the coldest and warmest months; in the case of Rankin Inlet, with a coldest-month (January) mean of −30.8 °C (−23.4 °F), said boundary for the warmest month would be 12.1 °C (53.8 °F) using the Nordenskjöld formula and Rankin Inlet's warmest month (July) averages only 10.5 °C (50.9 °F).

Beginning on 16 January 2008, Rankin Inlet endured the longest recorded blizzard in Canada. [lower-alpha 1] Wind speed was 74 km/h (46 mph) or above, with gusts to 90 km/h (56 mph), and wind chill values were as low as −58 °C (−72 °F). This blizzard lasted 7 days 5 hours. [35]

Climate data for Rankin Inlet (Rankin Inlet Airport)
WMO ID: 71083; coordinates 62°49′N92°07′W / 62.817°N 92.117°W / 62.817; -92.117 (Rankin Inlet Airport) ; elevation: 32.3 m (106 ft); 1981–2010 normals
Record high humidex −3.0−
Record high °C (°F)−2.5
Average high °C (°F)−27.3
Daily mean °C (°F)−30.8
Average low °C (°F)−34.4
Record low °C (°F)−46.1
Record low wind chill −66.8−70.5−64.4−53.6−35.9−17.6−5.3−8.8−18.1−42.7−55.3−62.4−70.5
Average precipitation mm (inches)8.7
Average rainfall mm (inches)0.0
Average snowfall cm (inches)8.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)66.267.371.379.082.372.366.670.676.384.578.470.273.7
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 [36]

Notable people

Rankin Inlet in winter Rankin Inlet (2736772098).jpg
Rankin Inlet in winter
Rankin Inlet in summer. View from ridge on east end of town. Rankin Inlet 2014.jpg
Rankin Inlet in summer. View from ridge on east end of town.

See also


  1. Environment and Climate Change Canada defines a blizzard above the tree line as a snowstorm with sustained wind speed above 40 km/h (25 mph), visibility 400 m (1,300 ft) or under and conditions will last for at least six hours. [34]

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Further reading