Getting to know Qikiqtarjuaq

The population of Qikiqtarjuaq is predominantly Inuit, and, depending on who you ask, about 400 to 500 people currently live here. To those living in Nunavut, the community is often referred to as just ‘Qik’. But other than that fact that the community is one of two jumping off points for Auyuittuq National Park (the other is the community of Pangnirtung to the south), Qikiqtarjuaq isn’t on the radar for most people.

When Eye on the Arctic told people the community was the first stop on our next reporting trip, we lost count of the times people (even Northerners!) asked us ‘Qikiqtarjuaq? Why are you going there?’ But in fact, Qik a pretty fascinating place.

Just based on our conversations since we’ve been here, the majority of the people living in Qik come from three main groups; those relocated here from Inuit camps at Kivitoo in 1963 or from Padloping Island in 1968 or those who moved to Qik for work on the nearby Distant Early Warning Line (or DEW Line) in the 1950s.

The relocations are still a painful subject for many families. One man I spoke with told me he was only four or five when the relocation happened but that he still goes back to Padloping Island when he can so he can ‘get away from the fast lane’ in Qik.

But besides Qikiqtarjuaq’s rich history, it’s also one of the friendliest communities I’ve ever been to. We haven’t been here long but, so far, almost without exception, people have been welcoming, gracious and exceedingly generous in letting us film their homes, schools and community events.

We’re off to a great start.

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *