Naujaat

Naujaat, Nunavut

A nature lover’s dream, Naujaat,meaning seagull nesting place, is a must see destination located right on the Arctic Circle. The gateway to Ukkusiksalik National Park, Naujaat is home to almost all arctic animals - polar bears, narwhal, bowhead whales, and seals.

Essential Naujaat experiences include: 

  • Observing expert carvers working with materials local to the area: soapstone, bone, and ivory, and artisans creating intricate jewellery and clothing
  • Exploring the abundance of arctic wildlife including marine mammals and migratory birds
  • Hiking to the Naujan Thule Site, where discoveries occurred that lead to the some of the most extensive knowledge of the Thule people

Naujaat is located on the Arctic Circle and is truly a jewel in Nunavut’s crown. A traditional community that relies on hunting and trapping, itis steeped in traditional Inuit culture. This community is small and easily accessible for hikers.

With extensive wildlife nearby, Inuit have long lived in what is now known as  Naujaat. Archaeological discoveries  show the the Inuit date back to 2500 BC in the area. European contact took place in 1742 when British explorer Christopher Middleton was searching for the Northwest Passage. Upon realizing that the bay he was exploring was not, in fact, a sea route to Asia, he gave the beautiful area the unfortunate name of Repulse Bay.

The Naujan Thule Site is a short hike from the community and the archeological site of the  Thule people  . Here you will find circular stone houses, half underground with roofs made of whale jaw bones, ribs, and sod. The discovery of this site has had great impact on understanding the prehistory of the Canadian Arctic and the Thule culture to this day. 

European contact in the area dates back to 1742 when British explorer Christopher Middleton was searching for the Northwest Passage. Upon realizing that the bay he was exploring was not, in fact, a sea route to Asia, he gave the beautiful area the unfortunate name of Repulse Bay.

The community of Naujaat grew from the establishment of Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, which was opened in 1911. In order to compete for the beautiful fur pelts produced in the area, Hudson’s Bay faced competition in the form of Revillon Freres, which also opened a post in 1923. This was followed in 1932 by the opening of a Catholic mission.

Near Naujaat, you will find an abundance of arctic wildlife: polar bears, bowhead, beluga, and narwhal whales, orca,  seals, caribou, and many species of birds. Naujaat is the gateway to the Ukkusiksalik National Park.

Unlike other Kivalliq communities to the south, hills, cliffs and inlets characterize the land in Naujaat. The community today is very reliant on tourism, arts and crafts, and hunting and trapping.