Parks & Special Places From the lush green valleys of Katannilik Park to the wild rapids of the Coppermine River, find out about Nunavut's territorial parks, heritage Rivers and other special places.
Learn about the park's natural and cultural heritage, its history and its facilities.
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Find out how to get to the park, where to stay, local arts and crafts, and find a guide or outfitters who can take you to the park.
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Rich in culture and wildlife, the Coppermine River is one of the most scenic rivers in Canada. Copper deposits found along the river were important to the first peoples who lived along the Coppermine River's shores. Many important archaeological sites, distinguished by copper artifacts, are found along the Coppermine. It was stories of these deposits that brought Samuel Hearne to the area in 1771 and it was his documented journey to the river and the massacre he witnessed at what is now Bloody Falls (and Kulguk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park) that brought the Coppermine into the history books. Other explorers, such as Sir John Franklin, soon followed and the Coppermine became an important exploration and fur trade route.
The river brings a tongue of the stunted spruce and birch cover of the boreal forest deep into the tundra, only 40 km from the Arctic Ocean. It is home to moose, caribou and musk ox as well as fox and wolverine. Raptors are found in the river canyon, while peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and rough legged hawk are also common. Today, the river's landscape and riverscape has been modified only by the forces of wind, water and ice. The community of Kugluktuk at the mouth of the river is the only development and the river still supports the community's subsistence lifestyle.
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