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Nunavut is a Territory that is diverse in both geography and culture. In a land as great as Nunavut, this diversity is inevitable and will give you a wide range of unforgettable experiences with the land and the people. From the incredible fiords and mountains of the Qikiqtani Region, to the rolling tundra and big rivers and lakes of the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot region, there is a wealth of possibilities in Nunavut.
The territory consists of three regions: the Qikiqtani (Baffin) Region, the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot Regions. These regions are marked by stark differences in geography and more subtle differences in culture. The environment and wildlife in the regions have led to differences in diet and hunting techniques as well as dialects of Inuktitut.
However, you will find there is a strong tradition of welcoming in each of the regions, and the Inuit of each region will delight in sharing their traditions with you.
Explore our regions and communities
Click a hotspot on the map to learn more about a community.
The Kivalliq Region
Home to millions of caribou and thousands of polar bears, the Kivalliq Region will provide you with an Arctic experience that is second to none. It is here that you will find the great expanse of the Arctic tundra - rolling hills that stretch from horizon to horizon - this is also a home for some of Nunavut’s largest lakes and rivers, providing you with not only an amazing wildlife experience, but unparalleled paddling, hunting and fishing as well.
The Kitikmeot Region
The Kitikmeot spans the northern mainland of Canada to the mythical heart of the Northwest Passage and is a crossroads of the Arctic - bringing together an amazing array of ecosystems and cultures. The most western region of the Territory, the Kitikmeot communities are abundant in wildlife.
The Inuit of Kugaaruk (Inuktitut for ‘little stream’) were amongst the last indigenous peoples in North America to have contact with Europeans in the latter part of the 19th century. Inuit have lived in the area for thousands of years as this was an important place for both caribou and sea mammal hunting.
Inuit have congregated in the area for over 3000 years, drawn by the wildlife that provided the necessities of life. The ancient Dorest people are referred to as 'Tuniit' or 'Sivullirmiut' in Inuktitut and historians believe that the Dorset Culture people were perhaps the first North Americans ever encountered by Europeans who visited Baffin Island sometime before 1000 AD. The Dorset people became extinct by 1500 AD, however mystical traces of them are still visible while hiking Mallikjuaq or Dorset Island.
Chesterfield Inlet, located on the northwestern coast of Hudson Bay, is the oldest established community in Nunavut. The Inuktitut name is Igluligaarjuk 'Place with a few Thule Houses’). There are archaeological sites where the ancient Dorset peoples (500BC – 1,500AD) are believed to have camped in the summers.
Coral Harbour, in Inuktitut Salliq meaning ‘large flat island in front of the mainland’ is located on Southampton Island at the north end of Hudson Bay. It has been a traditional meeting place for Inuit since 500 BC because of the abundance of marine life and migratory birds. It is the base for the best walrus and whale viewing at nearby Coats Island.
Gjoa Haven is located on the southeast coast of King William Island at the heart of the Northwest Passage. It is also called Uqsuqtuuk which means ‘place of plenty blubber’ in Inuktitut. The name Gjoa is named after Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen’s ship during his expedition through the Northwest Passage.
Grise Fiord, also known as Aujuittuq in Inuktitut meaning ‘place that never thaws’, nestles amongst majestic mountains at the end of a stunning fiord. As one of the the most isolated communities in the North, the people of Grise Fiord have overcome hardship to establish a home in one of the most beautiful parts of Canada.
Rankin Inlet, also known as Kangiqtiniq in Inuktitut meaning ‘deep inlet’, is a modern and vibrant community that is a blend of cultures and traditions. This mixture of Inuit and European culture, the old and the new economy, and the blending of Inuit from many tribal backgrounds led to a generation of prominent leaders that started the movement towards creation of the Nunavut territory.
When you close your eyes and imagine the Arctic, you are likely picturing the hamlet of Arctic Bay. Nestled snugly amidst stunning mountains, Arctic Bay is a traditional community heavily reliant on hunting, fishing, and tourism, It provides visitors with a wide range of Arctic experiences- Inuit culture and tradition, rare Arctic wildlife, and awe-inspiring scenery.
Millions of people from around the world were captivated by the stark beauty of the Igloolik area through the award-winning films of Igloolik-based Isuma Productions. These films tell many stories of Inuit life and the connections with Europeans, but what they subtly showcase is the tremendous cultural knowledge of the people that reside in Igloolik- hunters, storytellers, keepers of traditional knowledge. When you visit Igloolik you feel as you are entering the spirit of Inuit culture.