Partial view of the village, as seen from the hills to the east
|Coordinates (412, avenue Saint-Edmund): Coordinates: |
|Settled||1821 (HBC post)|
|Constituted||7 June 1980|
|• Mayor||Anthony Ittoshat|
|• Federal riding||Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou|
|• Prov. riding||Ungava|
|• Total||7.00 km2 (2.70 sq mi)|
|• Land||8.16 km2 (3.15 sq mi)|
|There is an apparent contradiction between two authoritative sources|
|• Density||84.0/km2 (218/sq mi)|
|• Change (2011–16)||4.4%|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Kuujjuarapik (also spelled Kuujjuaraapik; Inuktitut: ᑰᔾᔪᐊᕌᐱᒃ little great river) is the southernmost northern village (Inuit community) at the mouth of the Great Whale River (French: Grande Rivière de la Baleine) on the coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavik, Quebec, Canada. Almost 1000 people, mostly Cree, live in the adjacent village of Whapmagoostui. The community is only accessible by air, Kuujjuarapik Airport and, in late summer, by boat. The nearest Inuit village is Umiujaq, about 160 km (99 mi) north-northwest of Kuujjuarapik. The police services in Kuujjuaraapik are provided by the Kativik Regional Police Force.
Like most other northern villages in Quebec, there is an Inuit reserved land of the same name, Kuujjuarapik. However, unlike most other Inuit reserved lands, the Inuit reserved land of Kuujjuarapik is not adjacent to its eponymous northern village; rather, it is located considerably farther north and in fact borders on the Inuit reserved land of Umiujaq.
Although the permanent cohabitation of Inuit and Cree at the mouth of the Great Whale River only goes back to the year 1950, the two Indigenous peoples were rubbing shoulders in this area for a very long time: Inuit close to the coast and the Cree more in the interior lands.
While the Inuit have hunted and fished along the Hudson Bay coast long before the arrival of Europeans, it was not until 1820 when a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post was built there, known variously as Great Whale River House, Great Whale River or just Great Whale. On maps of 1851 and 1854, the post is called Whale River House and Whale House.
Protestant and Catholic missions settled there in the 1880s. In 1895, a weather station was set up by the Federal Government. Medical and police services began to be offered in the first half of the 20th century, yet it was not settled permanently and only used as a summer encampment. The official 1901 census count for Great Whale River numbers 216, making note of all the Inuit and their families who lived in the surrounding area and who came to trade at Great Whale River over the course of several months. However, the census taker notes of this official number: "I should say it does not represent one-third of the Eskimos, but I am sending on as many (names) as I could obtain."
In the late 1930s, the Inuit gave up their nomadic way of life and settled in the village. In 1940, the American army opened a military air base here, using Inuit and Cree workers. In 1941, the HBC post closed. After the Second World War in 1948, the military base was transferred to the Canadian government and in 1955, it began operating a Mid-Canada Line radar station called RCAF Station Great Whale River. Though the radar station was not operational for long and closed in 1965, it established the village permanently.
In 1961, when the Quebec Government decided to give French names to Nordic places, the name Great Whale River was replaced with Grande-Baleine which itself was replaced a year later with Poste-de-la-Baleine. When the village was incorporated, it officially adopted its current name, a name the Inuit had already been using for some time to designate this place.
Fearing the impact of planned large-scale hydroelectric works on the Great Whale River, a referendum was held in 1982 in which the Inuit decided to relocate to a new village (Umiujaq) some 160 km (99 mi) to the north. A large portion of the Inuit moved there in 1986, causing the population of Kuujjuarapik to drop significantly.
Predictably, given its northern latitude, Kuujjuarapik has a subarctic climate under the Köppen climate classification (Köppen climate classification: Dsc), but strongly modified by its location on the southeastern (predominantly windward) shore of Hudson Bay, particularly from May/June through November, the primary season when Hudson Bay's surface is unfrozen, i.e. open water. Winters are long and cold; summers are cool, strongly influenced by the chilly open waters of Hudson Bay, with August (the warmest month, on average) mustering an average monthly high temperature of only 16.1 °C (61.0 °F). Freezing conditions (0 degrees C) have occurred every month of the year. Year-round, climatic conditions are influenced strongly by Hudson Bay's freeze-thaw cycle. January is the coldest month on average; August, the warmest.
The average annual precipitation cycle demonstrates a minimum from mid-winter (January) to mid-spring (May), with sharply rising average monthly precipitation amounts beginning in June, reaching a peak in September, but with only slowly falling average monthly precipitation amounts from September to November. As such, compared to most Northern Hemisphere sub-Arctic climates (which usually have strong precipitation maximums between June and August, usually July), Kuujjuarapik demonstrates a strong tendency favouring a relatively drier spring and relatively wetter autumn. This pattern is a direct consequence of Kuujjuarapik's location on the lee shore of Hudson Bay. Similar to a pattern evident in heavily "lake-influenced" areas around the U.S. Great Lakes (i.e. Holland and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan), in spring and early summer, water temperatures are cooler than those of surrounding land areas, encouraging low clouds and fog, but also stable conditions and less precipitation. In fall and early winter, the pattern is reversed: water temperatures are warmer than those of surrounding land areas, encouraging cumulus cloud formation and unstable conditions, meaning low-pressure systems passing from cooler land to warmer water often intensify.
In Kuujjuarapik, this pattern means average monthly precipitation peaks in September - when increasingly cold air masses passing eastward and southeastward across the open waters of Hudson Bay are warmed and destabilized by their over-water passage, producing thick clouds and frequent, often-heavy instability rain (and from October to December, snow) showers. This pattern also results in the heaviest average monthly average snowfall amounts coming from October to January, but concentrated in November and December, with "Hudson-Bay effect" snows most common, and markedly less average monthly snowfall from February to May. From late November into December, Hudson Bay freezes, and by January, its frozen surface provides little modification to Arctic air masses, and less moisture, i.e. snow, to Kuujjuarapik. Also, because Hudson Bay in the fall is open water into mid to late November when freezing begins, the speed of temperature fall during the autumn months is relatively slight from August to October, and steepest from November to January (by which time the bay is fully frozen over).
Overall, Kuujjuarapik's climate is severe and sub-Arctic, but with a relatively slow temperature fall from summer to November due to water influence and delayed freezing of Hudson Bay (late November into December), and a dry spring and wet and stormy fall. Further evidencing these patterns is monthly sunshine data (as a percentage of daylight hours), which shows a marked maximum most months from February to July, and a marked minimum from September to December, when "Bay-induced" cloud cover is highest; in November, the cloudiest month, average sunshine bottoms out at only 13.5% of available daylight hours. Considering its marine position on the 55th parallel, the climate is extremely cold when compared with cities like Glasgow and Copenhagen in northern Europe and Chinook-affected areas further to the west in Canada's interior.
|Climate data for Kuujjuarapik Airport (1981−2010)|
|Record high humidex||3.3||5.2||10.7||21.5||33.5||38.7||41.9||38.9||36.5||27.0||11.7||6.9||41.9|
|Record high °C (°F)||3.3
|Average high °C (°F)||−18.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−23.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−27.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−49.4
|Record low wind chill||−63||−62||−59||−45||−30||−12||−7||−5||−10||−21||−38||−56||−63|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||27.9
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||0.05
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||29.3
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||17.2||14.0||12.7||11.3||12.2||12.1||13.9||16.5||20.8||21.6||22.0||21.3||195.5|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||0.17||0.38||1.0||3.2||6.9||10.6||13.9||16.5||20.0||14.1||3.6||0.41||90.9|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||17.2||13.9||12.5||9.6||7.0||2.8||0.0||0.0||2.0||12.1||20.6||21.2||118.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||71.7||112.7||155.8||165.2||166.4||205.0||213.5||163.7||81.8||64.4||34.2||40.0||1,474.3|
|Percent possible sunshine||29.6||41.5||42.5||39.0||33.2||39.4||41.0||35.2||21.3||19.8||13.5||17.8||31.2|
|Source: Environment Canada|
- 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
- Geographic code 99075 in the official Répertoire des municipalités (in French)
- Reference number 95269 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (in French)
- "(Code 2499080) Census Profile". 2011 census. Statistics Canada. 2012.
- "Kuujjuarapik". Nunavik Tourism Association. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
- KRPF. "General Information". Home. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- "Census Profile: Map: Umiujaq, Terre inuite (Census Subdivision), Quebec". 2011 census. Statistics Canada.
- "Whapmagoostui" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
- "1901 Census Transcription Project". Automated Genealogy.
- "Kuujjuarapik Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
- "Our Schools." Kativik School Board. Retrieved on September 23, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kuujjuarapik.|