Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec Canada

Discover Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec: A Historical and Cultural Gem

Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec, is a charming Inuit village nestled at the mouth of the George River on the east coast of Ungava Bay in Nunavik, Canada. With a population of 956 as per the 2021 census, this village is a treasure trove of history and culture.

The Origin of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec

Originally known as Fort Severight, the village was named in honor of John Severight, a North West Company man who led Fort Coulonge during McLean's tenure. Over time, the settlement was known by various names such as Fort George, George's River, George River Post, and Fort George River. It was also referred to as Port-Nouveau-Québec, which translates to "New Port Quebec". The current name, "Kangiqsualujjuaq" (Inuktitut: ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᔾᔪᐊᖅ), means "the very large bay" in Inuktitut.

The Historical Journey of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec

John McLean established Fort Severight for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1838. The fort, located a bit south of the present-day town, served as a salmon and seal fishery, supplying Fort Chimo to the west and Fort Trial and Fort Nascopie to the south. However, it was abandoned in 1842. The Inuit of the area preferred to live along the coast in summer and set their camps about 50 km inland in winter.

The site was revived in September 1876, primarily to capture the local indigenous peoples' trade. The site was abandoned and reopened several times until it was finally established as a municipality in 1980. The community faced a tragic avalanche in 1999, which destroyed the Satuumavik School gymnasium and resulted in several casualties. The school was later rebuilt at a safer location and renamed Ulluriaq School.

The Stunning Geography of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec

Located 1,688 km northeast of Montreal, Kangiqsualujjuaq is enveloped by mountains, offering unobstructed views of the George River. The town is laid out on a grid pattern over levelled-ground, with two unsealed roads leading a few kilometres beyond the mountain ridges at either end of the village. Amidst rocky outcrops and stone way-finding markers (Inukshuk), the village landscape is dotted with stands of stunted trees and prostrate groundcover that clings perilously to the rugged granite terrain.

Demographics of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec

As per the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Kangiqsualujjuaq had a population of 956 living in 247 of its 270 total private dwellings. This was a 1.5% increase from its 2016 population of 942. With a land area of 34.33 km2, it had a population density of 27.8/km2 in 2021.

Infrastructure in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec

The town is served by the small Kangiqsualujjuaq Airport. Access is usually by plane, although residents occasionally travel to Kuujjuaq in winter by snowmobile and in summer by boat. Journeys across the Torngat Mountains by snowmobile to the Labrador settlements Nain and Nachvak are rarely embarked upon these days, but were commonplace when dog teams were used. Every summer, cargo ships from Becancour deliver cumbersome supplies and equipment to the community.