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Quebec, Canada

Akulivik (population 482) is an Inuit village in Nunavik, in northern Quebec, Canada. It is located on a peninsula that juts southwesterly into Hudson Bay across from Smith Island (Qikirtajuaq). Akulivik is on the 60th parallel, 1,850 km north of Montreal.

Akulivik, meaning “central prong of a kakivak” in the Nunavik dialect of Inuktitut, takes its name from the surrounding geography. Located on a peninsula between two bays, the area evokes the shape of a kakivak, a traditional, trident-shaped spear used for fishing.

Inaccessible by road, Akulivik is served by a small airport.

Akulivik was incorporated as a community in 1976. The Inuit have lived in the area for thousands of years. In 1610, the explorer Henry Hudson passed by the island of Qikirtajuaq near present-day Akulivik.

In 1922, the Hudson’s Bay Company established a trading post on the site of today’s settlement. The outpost was moved to the island of Qikirtajuaq in 1926. Between 1922 and 1955, the area where Akulivik is located today was the summer camp of Inuit who congregated around the trading post. In 1952, the post was closed, forcing the families to move to Puvirnituq, 100 km to the south.

In 1973, one family moved back to the area. The following year, many others followed and, together, they built the village of Akulivik.