Inuktitut name: Sanikiluaq (Home of Sandy Kiluaq)
Population: 850 (2011)
Time Zone: EST
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Nunavut’s southern-most community, Sanikiluaq is located on the Belcher Islands in southern Hudson’s Bay. Local Inuit are closely tied with the Inuit of Nunavik (Northern Quebec) and many cultural and trade links are active between the two groups.

Sanikiluaq has been occupied by Inuit since 500 BC and there are numerous archeological sites scattered throughout the area. The first European contact was in 1610 when Henry Hudson sailed by the islands prior to the famous mutiny by his crew.

Sanikiluaq, while an Island, sometimes has a physical link with the Quebec mainland when the ice forms. This has led to a situation where local Inuit have had to be tremendously adaptive as local caribou can completely disappear across the ice bridge. Inuit in Sanikiluaq used to make parkas and clothing out of the skin of eider ducks when caribou were scarce.

Government services were established in Sanikiluaq in the 1960’s with the creation of two communities on the Belcher Island. These communities were consolidated into the present community of Sanikiluaq in 1971 with the construction of a school and nursing station.

Today Sanikiluaq is world renown for the truly spectacular art made by local residents. Carvings and dolls made my local artists are valued throughout the world for their haunting beauty.


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