Nunavut Territory, Canada
Kugaaruk (also called Arviligjuaq, meaning “the great bowhead whale habitat”) (Inuktitut syllabics: ᑰᒑᕐᔪᒃ; English: “little stream”) 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 village.
As of the 2006 census, the population was 758, an increase of 13.7% from the 2001 census. Kugaaruk is the location of the coldest recorded wind chill in Canada of −78 °C (−108.4 °F). Coldest temperature was -66 °C.
The historical inhabitants were Arviligjuarmiut. Kugaaruk is a traditional “Central Inuit” community. Until 1968, the people followed a nomadic lifestyle. The population is approximately 97% Inuit and most people self-identify as Netsilik Inuit. The residents blend a land based lifestyle with modern technology and interests. Most families supplement their diet with ringed seal, caribou, and arctic char. Other game includes narwhal, polar bear, wolverine and muskox. Despite the isolation of the community, the Inuktitut language is declining. Most people 30 and over speak Inuktitut as their first language, but the language is not being passed on to their children. In most households, a mixture of English and Inuktitut is spoken. Children understand their parents and grandparents, but respond to them in English. One goal of the Nunavut educational system is to encourage and spread the use of Inuktitut.
There are a few Inuit artists in Kugaaruk, including the world renowned Emily Illuitok, who works mostly in walrus ivory and bone and Nick Sikkuark who works are mainly in whale bone, caribou antler, and walrus ivory, and are characterized by “droll, macabre wit”. Most women sew traditional parkas, amautiit (baby carrying parkas), and kamik (seal or caribou skin boots).
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Canada V6J 1K1
Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.
Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5
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