is the capital of Nunavut
, the newest territory of Canada
. It was formerly called Frobisher Bay prior to 1987. The name was derived from Martin Frobisher who arrived in the area back in 1576. The first recorded history
of the place also dates back to that same year, although it was populated for over 4000 years. The place is located east of the mainland of Nunavut and north of Baffin Island. Access to the area includes air travel, boat, snowmobile and dogsled. Its architecture features Inuit designs, such as igloos and Inuit art. The climate in the area
is described as Arctic climate even if its location
is outside the Arctic Circle. The winters are very cold and the summers are very short.
A Brief History
The place was founded as an American airbase in 1942. The name of the settlement is a traditional Inuktitut word which means “place of many fish”. It was formerly called Frobisher Bay after the name of the body of water near the area.
The population in this area increased gradually when the Distant Early Warning Line began its construction in the 50’s. In 1957, it was reported that 489 out of the town’s population of 1,200 were Inuit. The first elections for the community council were held in 1964. Elections for mayor did not push through until 1979. It was in 1987 that the town’s name was officially changed from Frobisher Bay to Iqaluit, giving due respect to the Inuit inhabitants of the area. As of 2001, the area was designated as a city.
Although the city’s economy
has been slow because of the problems related to transportation, present developments in the area have boosted economic activity. It has a rapidly growing population and a substantial percentage of the residents earn a living through arts and crafts. As of 2001, a reported 23.6 percent of the population remains unemployed. Potential economic opportunities abound in the fields of mining, fishing and tourism. There are quite a number of impediments to the city’s economic growth. These hindrances include lack of infrastructure, stable employees, and wealth-creating capital.
The 2006 census of Canada reports that the number of people residing in this area is 6,184, making it the city with the lowest population in Canada. Aboriginal people comprise 59.0 percent of the population
, most of who are Inuit. The other 41 percent of the population are European. English is spoken by 41.2 percent of the population, while French is spoken by a small 5.4 percent. The rest of the population speaks native languages, most of which are Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun. The predominant religion in the city is Protestant at a percentage of 64.4 of the population. Roman Catholic comes second and is professed by 19.4 percent of the resident population. Others belong to minor religions or have no religious affiliation at all.
Places of Interest
Iqaluit’s major landmarks and places of interest include the St. Jude’s Cathedral, the Nunnatta Sunakkutaanigt Museum, the Sylvia Grinell Territorial Park, the Qaummaarviit Territorial Park, and the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts.