In Past week, I had an unforgettable trip to Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, the Inuit name of Belcher Islands on which the small Inuit community locates. There are totally 25 communities in Canada’s youngest territory-Nunavut, of which 23 are all on arctic coasts, except Baker Lake that sits inland in Qivalliq region, and Sanikiluaq lies on northern coast of Belcher Islands surrounded by vast Hudson Bay.
In addition to its unique location in middle of ocean, this community is also the southernmost community in Nunavut, and the distance from Sanikiluaq to Grise Fiord by Google map, the northernmost community of Nunavut Territory I visited last year (also the northern most civic centre of Northern American), is over 2300 km. As it is out of the Arctic Circle, there is night-time in summer as most of other places in Canada do, and this stunned me when I had my first dark night-time since middle of May. As most of Belcher Islands consist of exposed sedimentary as well as volcanic rocks, whole commute looks like sitting on a big quarry site, where gavels and cobbles are everywhere except patches of tundra at outside skirt covered by flourish tundra flowers.
Anyone step on this bare-land first time would wonder how people survive on such infertile islands even without trees, the answer is wildlife. Common eider ducks use the islands as habitat year round, marine mammals and fish, such as beluga whale, bowhead whales, walrus, seals and arctic chars are abundant.
Flourish flowers cluster on arctic tundra
Symbolic landmark in Arctic Inukshuk varying in shape but visible in each communities, this one is very unique as it is consists of a flat rock at the bottom