Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Kuujjuaq, the lively main town on Ungava Bay, west of Labrador's Torngat Range


Kuujjuaq, the main town in Nunavik.

Lacated on the west shore of the Koksoak river, some 160 km to the southwest of Kangiqsualujjuaq, and 48 km upstream from Ungava Bay, this is a larger native settlement.

Coordinates: 58° 06′ N, 68° 23′ W (sub-arctic)
Population: ~ 2400

Kuujjuaq is a fast growing community, the largest native village in Nunavik. Housing quality and services are still improving, and the village offers a number of hotels, restaurants, stores, arts and crafts shops and even a bank.

Prefab houses are now reaching a higher standard.

New housing is also more richly coloured.

Nuvuuk Bay, a residential neighbourhood with a view.

A few trees grow in a tundra-covered terrain.

Same view in Winter.

Although the tree line is very close, the boreal forest is present around Kuujjuaq. Patches of black spruce and larch stand in marshy valleys. 

A short History

The first Europeans to have contact with local Inuit were Moravians. In 1811, after a trip along the coasts of Labrador and Ungava Bay, the missionaries arrived at an Inuit camp on the east shore of the Koksoak River, a few miles downstream from the present-day settlement. A small Mission was built there.

In 1830, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) started the fur trade business in Nunavik by establishing their first post on the east shore of the Koksoak River. In 1948 a nursing station, a school and a weather station were built.  Later, in 1958, the HBC moved upstream and it was followed by the families that still lived across the river. In 1961, an Inuit co-operative was created.

Nowadays Kuujjuaq gained strategic importance with the two-strip airport, a local transport hub. Economic growth shows in the hotels and restaurants, shops and bank agency created in recent years. A health centre and two schools also serve Ungava Bay area.

Jaanimmarik School.

Post office

Notre Dame de Fatima, catholic church.

A Convenience store

Town Hall and Cultural Centre

Santa's Candy drop.

Auberge Inn, Kuujjuaq

The CIBC bank agency

With two runways, Kuujjuaq's airport is the transportation hub of the entire region.

The Koksoak river

Daily life in Kuujjuaq is closely tied to the river and subjected to the tidal rythm.

About 50 km upstream from Ungava Bay, the river's currents are under tidal influence. Fishing is subject to those conditions.

Low tide at the Koksoak.

Nuvuuk Bay at night