Traveling to Nunavut


Nunavut is a very accessible destination for your vacation plans – only 3 hours away from a major city airport. For visitors wishing to travel to the western Kitikmeot region, your southern ‘gateway’ cities include Calgary and Edmonton (Alberta) flying thru Yellowknife. Paddlers, fishers, and others en route to the central Kivalliq region would fly from Winnipeg (Manitoba) direct to Rankin Inlet, and for Baffin Island destinations travellers board in either Ottawa (Ontario) or Montreal (Quebec) for direct service to Nunavut’s capital city of Iqaluit. There is also east-west routing that links Yellowknife – Rankin Inlet – Iqaluit – and Ottawa.

There are no roads leading to Nunavut from other parts of Canada, nor between communities within the region. For general travel, all communities are fly-in only. Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, and Iqaluit are the transportation hubs for their respective regions. Most communities are serviced daily by one or more regional airlines, however smaller communities may be less frequent. Charters are also available. Some northern airlines also fly routes between the regions providing extra flexibility in scheduling your itinerary.

The region, which is now mainland Nunavut, was first populated approximately 4500 years ago by the Pre-Dorset, a diverse Paleo-Eskimo culture that migrated eastward from the Bering Strait region.[16]

The Pre-Dorset culture was succeeded by the Dorset culture about 2800 years ago.[17] Anthropologists and historians believe that the Dorset culture developed from the Pre-Dorset; however, the relationship between the two remains unclear.[17]

Helluland, which Norse explorers described visiting in their Sagas of Icelanders, has been associated to Nunavut’s Baffin Island. Claims of contact between the Dorset and Norse, however, remain controversial.[18][19]

The Thule people, ancestors of the modern Inuit, began migrating from Alaska in the 11th century into the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. By 1300, the geographic extent of Thule settlement included most of modern Nunavut.

The migration of the Thule people coincides with the decline of the Dorset, who died out between 800 and 1500

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