human settlement

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"Uptown" neighbourhood of Pangnirtung. April 2006
"Uptown" neighbourhood of Pangnirtung. April 2006
"Pang", "Switzerland of the Arctic"[1]
Pangnirtung is located in Nunavut
Pangnirtung is located in Canada
Coordinates: Coordinates:
Electoral districtPangnirtung
 • TypeHamlet Council
 • MayorEric Lawlor
 • MLAsMargaret Nakashuk
 • Land7.77 km2 (3.00 sq mi)
Elevation23 m (75 ft)
 • Total1,481
 • Density190.6/km2 (494/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Canadian Postal code
Area code(s)867

Pangnirtung (or Pang, also Pangniqtuuq, in syllabics: ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᖅ IPA: [paŋniqtuːq]) is an Inuit hamlet, Qikiqtaaluk Region, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, located on Baffin Island. As of the 2016 census the population was 1,481, an increase of 3.9% from the 2011 census.[4] The area of the town is 7.77 km2 (3.00 sq mi). Pangnirtung is situated on a coastal plain at the coast of Pangnirtung Fjord, a fjord which eventually merges with Cumberland Sound. As of January 2014, the mayor is Mosesee Qappik.[2]


There is some confusion about the village name. Residents say the real name is Pangniqtuuq, which means "the place of many bull caribou".[6] Early in 2005 residents voted against officially changing the name of the village to the native one, as Pangnirtung has achieved an international reputation. Its residents have created high-quality traditional arts in sculpture, as well as adaptation of themes and design in printmaking and weaving.

Pangnirtung is nicknamed the Switzerland of the Arctic, or simply Pang.[7]


The Inuit and their ancestors have inhabited the area for thousands of years, perhaps as long as 4,000. Their cultures became well-adapted to the climate and environment.

Contact with European Canadians has been limited to less than the last century. In 1921, the Hudson's Bay Company established a trading post in Pangnirtung. Two years later, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police erected a permanent office. The first government-appointed teacher arrived in 1956. The first administrative office was established in 1962.

Since then, numerous Inuit have achieved success with marketing their traditional arts. They transformed traditional drawing skills to produce lithographs and other forms of prints, allowing reproduction and wider distribution of their work. Other artists have made sculptures and carvings in local stone. Since the government established a weaving studio in 1970, many Inuit have learned to weave and are producing tapestries and other works that find an international market.[8]

Economic development

The community operates a turbot fishery. In 2008, the federal government budgeted for the construction of a harbour.[9] Pangnirtung Fisheries Limited operates a packing plant to process local turbot catches.[10] Founded in 1992 during peak summer operations the company has 40 employees.[11][12]

Auyuittuq Lodge is the hamlet's only hotel, which comprises 25 rooms, shared facilities, a dining room, and a lounge.

Local services

Power is supplied to Pangnirtung via stand alone diesel generators.

Fuel is imported via tanker and stored in a tank farm near the Pangnirtung Airport. The purchase of diesel fuel is the responsibility of the government of Nunavut.[13]

Water, sewage, and garbage services are provided by the municipality of Pangnirtung. Water trucks fill up at a reservoir adjacent to the hamlet and is delivered seven days a week. Sewage is pumped out and treated at the municipal treatment plant. Garbage is picked up five days a week and transported to a landfill that slowly deteriorates due to Arctic temperatures.[14]

For emergency services it is protected by the 14 member Pangnirtung Fire Department.[15] The fire service uses one pumper with one older reserve from one station. Policing is provided by the RCMP Pangnirtung Detachment[16] attached to V Division.[17]

Mini C, Northern Store and Inuit Co-Operative are the only local retailers and grocery options.[18][19] The Northern Store also home to the only fast food in town, namely Quickstop, KFC Express and Pizza Hut. Perishable goods are ship by air and all other items by sealift when waters are ice free.

There are no banks in town so transactions are done on credit or money orders.[20]

Gas for cars or snowmobile is done at Quickstop.


There are two schools in Pangnirtung[21]:

Post secondary studies it opportunities can be made through Nunavut Arctic College's Community Learning Centre.


Aksayuk Arena is a sports and recreational centre.


Like all Nunavut communities Pangnirtung is a fly-in community with no road access to the rest of Nunavut. Pangnirtung Airport provides the only viable means of access. There are gravel roads in the community and residents use SUV's, pickup trucks, 4-wheel ATV's and snowmobiles.

Places of worship

Two churches can be found in Pangnirtung:

  • St. Luke's Anglican Church[22]
  • Full Gospel (Pentecostal) Church[23]


Basic medical services are available at the Health Centre. Four beds are available for assessment only, with advance care via medevac in Iqaluit.[24]

Nearby Pangnirtung

Pangnirtung is the nearest town (1 hour by boat) to Auyuittuq National Park and the location of one of two park offices, the other is in Qikiqtarjuaq. Located near to the Parks Canada office is the Angmarlik Visitor Centre.[25][26] Iglunga, now uninhabited, is an Inuit hamlet to the west.

Panorama of Pangnirtung Fiord in winter

Small craft harbour

In 2009 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed building a new modern harbour in Pangnirtung to support the region's turbot-fishing industry.[27][28][29] Harper received a warm welcome with many residents gathered at the airport to greet him. The town's 1,500 residents listened as Harper announced that $17 million worth of harbour construction promised in the last two budgets would get under way in the fall of that year.[30] Harper said the greatest potential for the hamlet's future lies in the inshore turbot fishery. The shortfalls of the previous harbour were a big problem for fishermen: When the tide receded, the harbour turned to mud.

The work on the harbour was completed in September 2013. The entire project ended up costing about $40.5 million. The improvements to the harbour include a fixed wharf, breakwater, marshalling area, sea lift ramp and a dredged channel and basin. The improvements will allow residents to unload their catches faster by allowing smaller crafts to dock easily and safely.[31]

Broadband communications

The community has been served by the Qiniq network since 2005. Qiniq is a fixed wireless service to homes and businesses, connecting to the outside world via a satellite backbone. The Qiniq network is designed and operated by SSI Micro. In 2017, the network was upgraded to 4G LTE technology, and 2G-GSM for mobile voice.

Notable residents

Image gallery

See also


  1. ^ Why Pangnirtung, Nunavut is called the Switzerland of the Arctic
  2. ^ a b Nunavummiut elect new municipal leaders
  3. ^ Results for the constituency of Pangnirtung Archived 2013-11-13 at the Wayback Machine at Elections Nunavut
  4. ^ a b c "Census Profile, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  5. ^ Elevation at airport. Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  6. ^ Qikiqtani Inuit Association - Pangnirtung Profile Archived 2011-05-10 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Frommer's: Nunavut". John Wiley & Sons., Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  8. ^ Cross, L. D. 2003. "Woven, Not Carved: The Pangnirtung Tapestries Are Northern Art with Global Appeal", Arctic. 56: 310-314
  9. ^ "Nunavut Ministers Lobby for Federal Fishery Support". Dollars and Sense: Northern Business and Economy. 2008-06-03. Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Power". Hamlet of Pangnirtung. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Municipal Services". Hamlet of Pangnirtung. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^,%20ou=VDIVHQ-QGDIVV,%20ou=RCMP-GRC,%20o=GC,%20c=CA&rpgid=018
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Auyuittuq National Park
  26. ^ Angmarlik Visitor Centre
  27. ^ "PM announces construction of new small craft harbour in Pangnirtung". Prime Minister's Office. 2009-08-20. Archived from the original on 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
  28. ^ "Creating jobs and opportunities for northern communities: Pangnirtung Small Craft Harbour". Prime Minister's Office. 2009-08-20. Archived from the original on 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
  29. ^ "Backgrounder: Harper government invests in new small craft harbour in Pangnirtung". Prime Minister's Office. 2009-08-20. Archived from the original on 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
  30. ^ Bruce Campion-Smith (2009-08-20). "Nunavut harbour refit will benefit fish industry". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2009-08-29.
  31. ^ "Pangnirtung's small craft harbour opens | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-04-23.

Further reading

  • Arnaktauyok, Germaine. Stories from Pangnirtung. Edmonton: Hurtig, 1976. ISBN 0-88830-109-X
  • Dale, Janis Elaine. The Relationship between the Physical Environment and Benthic Faunal Communities in Pangnirtung Fiord, Baffin Island, N.W.T. Ottawa: National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, 1993. ISBN 0-315-76445-7
  • Ebisuda, Ken-ichi, Takashi Kunito, Reiji Kubota, and Shinsuke Tanabe. 2002. "Arsenic Concentrations and Speciation in the Tissues of Ringed Seals (Phoca Hispida) from Pangnirtung, Canada". Applied Organometallic Chemistry. 16, no. 8: 451.
  • Hankins, Gerald W. Sunrise Over Pangnirtung The Story of Otto Schaefer, M.D. Komatik series, no. 6. Calgary: Arctic Institute of North America of the University of Calgary, 2000. ISBN 0-919034-97-7
  • Langmark, Otto C. A., and C. O. Langmark. The Top of Baffin Island 140 Mountain Peaks (and Other Topographic Features) Around the South End of Pangnirtung Fjord, Baffin Island, N.W.T. [Thornhill, Ont.?]: Otto Langmark & Associates, 1990. ISBN 0-921779-92-5
  • Neuman, Cheryl Lynn McKenna. Aeolian Processes and Landforms in South Pangnirtung Pass, Southeast Baffin Island, N.W.T., Canada. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1988. ISBN 0-315-40447-7
  • O'Hara, Charles. Tourism and the Social Construction of Place A Case-Study of Tourists' Spatial Practices in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Ottawa: National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, 2001. ISBN 0-612-57678-7
  • Tarnocai, C., and Hugo Veldhuis. Soils and Trafficability of Pangnirtung Pass, Auyuittuq National Park Reserve. Ottawa: Research Branch (ECORC, BRC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1998.

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Pangnirtung