From Land to Legislature in Fifty Years

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FROM LAND TO LEGISLATURE IN FIFTY YEARS: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF IQALUIT

 

Iqaluit, the capital city of the new Canadian territory of Nunavut, is set in a region with an archeological history of approximately 3800 years. Along the coastline of Frobisher Bay, there are signs of occupation by the Sivullirmiut, the first people who occupied parts of Nunavut rom 1800 BC to 1000 AD, and also of the Taissumanialungmiut, the ancestors of the present-day Inuit ca. 1000 to 1500 AD thought to have migrated from Alaska to the eastern arctic and Greenland. By the time Qallunaat (non-Inuit) arrived in the 16th century, Inuit were leading a more nomadic lifestyle bringing them into contact with explorers, whalers, and traders.

 

It was only in the early 1940's when the first permanent structures larger than a traditional Inuit winter house or an isolated trading post appeared on Frobisher Bay. These structures were erected by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in 1941, to establish the Crystal Two weather station and forward air base near the west end of Frobisher Bay. Koojesse Inlet, the location chosen, was adjacent to the traditional Inuit summer fish camp on the east bank of the Sylvia Grinnell River. Inuit soon set up a more permanent camp on Manirajaq, the flatlands just east of the base. They called it Iqaluit (or lkhaluit in the spelling of the time), meaning "place of many fish".

 

Although the intended use of Crystal Two as an USAAF air-transfer base for World War II was short-lived and abandoned in 1944, the weather station continued to operate and the elements of a transportation and communications centre in Canada's eastern arctic were in place. Known simply as Frobisher Bay, or Frobe, its territorial evolution into the capital City of Iqaluit in 1999 has been influenced by an unusual variety of military, government and civilian activities over time as seen in the pages of this document.

 

This historical overview of the development of Iqaluit focuses mainly on the built environment, with a few insights into people and lifestyles of the time. It consists of seven sections. The first section reviews activities in the larger defined Iqaluit Region prior to 1940 and the construction of Crystal Two. The next five sections key development to the time frame between the five orthomosaic aerial maps prepared by NRCan, ending in the Year 2000, the beginning of Nunavut.

 

Now that twenty years have passed since the inauguration of Nunavut, a seventh section has been added to comment on post-inaugural activities. Principal references and acknowledgements complete this document.

Details

Publisher - Panya Clark Espinal

Author(s) - Mary F. Clark

Paperback

Published Date - January 11 2023

ISBN - 9781778351372

Dimensions - 21.6 x 28 x 1 cm

Page Count - 139

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