Today was spent in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (traditional name Iqaluktuuttiaq, meaning ‘place of fish’). Located on the southeast coast of Victoria Island, it was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Hudson’s Bay outpost in the 1920s. With a population of approximately 1,477 (2006 Census), eighty percent of its residents are Inuit.
Our visit to Cambridge Bay included a guided tour of the May Hakongak Community Library and Culture Centre, during which the history, culture, language, and diversity of the community was shared using displays of artifacts, paintings, and museum type displays of traditional hunting and fishing items. Our visit also included time spent at the Arctic Coast Visitor Center, which hosts a splendid display of original items from Roald Amundsen’s Maud and the St. Roch.
Our day at Cambridge Bay ended with a guided tour of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS). CHARS is administered through Polar Knowledge Canada, and it is a facility that provides access to state-of-the-art research equipment and a broad array of resources, including biological and chemical laboratories, multimedia broadcasting systems, a library, and conference capabilities. Working with organizations in Canada and throughout the world, CHARS is enabling polar research across multiple disciplines, and its work is critically important in confronting the ongoing concerns associated with climate change and the impacts to the lifestyles of people throughout the circumpolar region.