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Guide to Powwow Country: The Hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
31
Issue: 
4
Year: 
2013

The Hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut

Visit the Hamlet of Arviat and be prepared to be captivated by strong  traditional culture and beautiful landscape. The hamlet recently received $105,100 from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency to grow its tourism and the results have been impressive. The Margaret Aniksak Visitor’s Centre has interpretive exhibits of the local culture and the Roman Catholic mission church. The Mikilaaq Centre houses collections of current and archival photos, some for purchase. There are also archival photos to view in the Government of Nunavut Pana building and at the Donald Suluk Library. Kiluk, on the main road to the airport, is the place to buy some of Nunavut’s art and crafts. Or take a boat trip out to the island of Arvia’juaq, which represents important historical summer camping areas of the Paalirmiut Inuit, who now live in the Arviat. Arvia’juaq is “an island shaped like a big bowhead whale.” For many generations, Inuit families returned to camp and harvest its abundant marine resources including beluga whales, seals, walrus and fish. Good inland hunting ground and crucial water sources are also nearby. Immediately opposite Arvia’juaq on the mainland and†Qikiqtaarjuk†can be reached by trail from Arviat. Hundreds of archaeological features are located at the historic site, some dating back to the Thule period. Typical features include tent rinfs, kayak stands, mean caches, hunting blinds, children’s play areas, and graves. Other more unique features found at the national historic site include the competing cousin stones, a shaman’s healing cairn and offering places.
For more information check out  www.visitarviat.ca/

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