Kuujjuarapik, Quebec Canada

Discover Kuujjuarapik, Quebec: A Unique Blend of History and Culture

Kuujjuarapik, Quebec, also spelled Kuujjuaraapik, is a fascinating northern village located at the mouth of the Great Whale River on the coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavik, Quebec, Canada. This Inuit community, whose name in Inuktitut (ᑰᔾᔪᐊᕌᐱᒃ) translates to "little great river," is the southernmost northern village in the region.

Accessibility and Services in Kuujjuarapik, Quebec

The community of Kuujjuarapik, Quebec, is primarily accessible by air via the Kuujjuarapik Airport and, in late summer, by boat. The nearest Inuit village is Umiujaq, situated about 160 km north-northeast of Kuujjuarapik. The village is home to nearly 1000 people, mostly Cree, who live in the adjacent village of Whapmagoostui. The Nunavik Police Service, formerly known as the Kativik Regional Police Force, provides police services in Kuujjuarapik.

The Unique History of Kuujjuarapik, Quebec

The history of Kuujjuarapik, Quebec, is rich and diverse. The Inuit and Cree peoples have cohabited at the mouth of the Great Whale River since 1950, although their interactions in the area date back much further. The Inuit have hunted and fished along the Hudson Bay coast long before the arrival of Europeans.

In 1820, a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post was established in the area, known as Great Whale River House, Great Whale River, or simply Great Whale. Protestant and Catholic missions settled there in the 1880s, and a weather station was set up by the Federal Government in 1895. Medical and police services began to be offered in the first half of the 20th century.

In the late 1930s, the Inuit were forced to settle in the village, giving up their nomadic way of life. In 1940, the American army opened a military air base in the area, employing Inuit and Cree workers. The HBC post closed in 1941, and after the Second World War in 1948, the military base was transferred to the Canadian government. In 1955, it began operating a Mid-Canada Line radar station called RCAF Station Great Whale River.

In 1961, the Quebec Government decided to give French names to Nordic places, replacing the name Great Whale River with Grande-Baleine, which was later replaced with Poste-de-la-Baleine. When the village was incorporated, it officially adopted its current name, Kuujjuarapik, a name the Inuit had already been using for some time to designate this place.

The Climate of Kuujjuarapik, Quebec

Kuujjuarapik, Quebec, has a subarctic climate, strongly influenced by its location on the southeastern shore of Hudson Bay. Winters are long and cold, while summers are cool, strongly influenced by the chilly open waters of Hudson Bay. The average annual precipitation cycle demonstrates a minimum from mid-winter to mid-spring, with sharply rising average monthly precipitation amounts beginning in June, reaching a peak in September.

Demographics of Kuujjuarapik, Quebec

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Kuujjuarapik had a population of 792 living in 249 of its 267 total private dwellings, a change of 21.1% from its 2016 population of 654. With a land area of 7.45 km2, it had a population density of 106.3/km2 in 2021. The population trend over the years has been as follows:

  • Population in 2021: 792 (2016 to 2021 population change: 21.1%)
  • Population in 2016: 686 (2011 to 2016 population change: 4.4%)
  • Population in 2011: 657
  • Population in 2006: 568
  • Population in 2001: 555
  • Population in 1996: 579
  • Population in 1991: 605

Kuujjuarapik, Quebec, is a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in exploring Canada's northern regions.