A small arctic community-Sanikiluaq, NU, on the edge of civil world

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.

Sanikiluaq,Nunavut, Canada (2)Unique rock formation and color tune

Sanikiluaq,Nunavut, Canada (6)Most of Belcher Islands consist of sedimentary and volcanic rocks, but this one is mysterious

Sanikiluaq,Nunavut, Canada (10)Flourish flowers cluster on arctic tundra

Sanikiluaq,Nunavut, CanadaScenic summer coastline with melting icebergs

Sanikiluaq,Nunavut, Canada (4)The ocean is covered by scattered sea ice

Sanikiluaq,Nunavut, Canada (9)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

Roasting mussels  Climate is harsh while seafood is abundant in open water season. Those are roasting mussels just harvested from ocean


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12 Responses to A small arctic community-Sanikiluaq, NU, on the edge of civil world

  1. Carrie says:

    Well I see you are back in the wild barren area again. From your previous blogs looks like you had a wonderful adventure in Nevada given you great contrast in scenery compared to what you have way up North. But amazing evening though it may look like just rocks, as with so much in nature one just has to look closely to find simple beauty that may be hidden at first view. Hope you have a wonderful summer. I just don’t seem to be blogging so much or time to visit either. So many projects and daily upkeep at our place has not been kept up. So back to work for me. Hugs Carrie

  2. arcticwl says:

    Thank you for coming over and taking time to update your recent life, Carrie, the adventurous life here in Arctic is over now. but the good memories left in past few years will last forever.

  3. amazing to hear from you after so long. these are great photos here and I am sure wonderful memories too! we will stay in touch one way or another my friend. OK? Eddie

    • arcticwl says:

      Eddie, Life brought me to south, even it still in far north-Prince George,BC in local’s perception. While it is “down south” already! surely have been collected by cyber world no matter where are. wish you all the best my friend.

  4. dengaiwu says:

    兄弟好!许久未见,颇为挂念。望一切皆好!我的博客也很少更新,主要是忙忙碌碌静不下心来写篇像样的文章,于是干脆不写。我现在与朋友联络以微博和FACEBOOK为主,微博名是“北非谍影2011”,FB名字是“Deng Aiwu”。祝一切顺利! :)

    • arcticwl says:

      老邓,我非常希望你别把你的博客荒废了,否则可就让一群跟我一样跟着你的笔迹与镜头淍 游世界的朋友望眼欲穿了。我最近也很少上来,片子故事都不少,但难得有功夫上了,我会到FB上找你去。

  5. acerchaser says:

    I am so intrigued in your photo, mysterious holes in rocks. Could you tell me where exactly on Belcher Island that you found them. I’m going up there this summer and would really like to have a look at them, thanks

  6. Similar pitting, pot holes and striations as in the second image from Belcher Islands occur in some boulder fields, particularly the the two Ringing Rocks boulder fields in Pennsylvania, and likely from a similar cause.

    Nastapoka arc may be the 450 km ‘impact basin’ of the icy-body impact on the Laurentide ice sheet some 12,900-13,100 years ago that caused a localized megafaunal extinction event in the Western Hemisphere.

    And the Belcher Islands may be the (aqueously-differentiated) authigenic, sedimentary core of the icy body. Odd how Omarolluks ONLY COME FROM THE BELCHER ISLANDS AND FROM NOWHERE ELSE, and yet they found their way across a large swath of SW Canada and the Central U.S. (unless the ice sheet got lost and meandered all over creation).

    Icy body impacts may form basins rather than craters because the PdV heating of relatively compressible ices clamps the impact shock wave pressure below the melting point of silicates, and then the gradual unwinding of the compressed ices extends the shock wave for may seconds or perhaps minutes, adding thousands of gees to the effective weight of the deformed target rock, preventing its rebound from forming a crater.

    Secondary impacts from smaller fragments of the main icy body may be responsible for many ‘recent’ boulder fields, in which the boulders slid into gullies in pyroclastic flows, and the French drain created by many meters of large boulders slows subsequent soil accumulation, precluding most plant life.

    Ringing Rocks boulder field in Eastern Pennsylvania exhibits many pits, pot holes and striations not occurring in diabase boulders outside of the boulder field. Tough diabase from the Triassic swath across SE central Pennsylvania withstands the scouring of super-high velocity icy-body fluids without readily fracturing and its weather resistance has retained the detail for over 10,000 years.

    Ringing Rocks boulder field (no flash therefore poor pitting contrast):

    Hickory Run boulder field:

  7. arcticwl: Do you have any photos of the Nastapoka Islands, thanks

  8. Snowball Solar System; I am doing research on the Nastapoka Arc. Please join me on Facebook
    John Giziewicz thanks. would like your input.

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