Iqaluit

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{service, military, aircraft}
{island, water, area}
{area, community, home}
{water, park, boat}
{country, population, people}
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{school, student, university}
{rate, high, increase}
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Iqaluit (pronounced [iqɑluit], ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ in Inuktitut syllabics; often pronounced /ɨˈkæluːɨt/ in English) is the territorial capital and the largest community of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Iqaluit is located on the south coast of Baffin Island at the head of Frobisher Bay. As of the 2006 census the population was 6,184, an increase of 18.1 percent from the 2001 census; it has the lowest population of any capital city in Canada.[3] Inhabitants of Iqaluit are called Iqalummiut (singular: Iqalummiuq). Prior to 1987 the community was named Frobisher Bay.

Contents

History

Iqaluit was founded in 1942 as an American airbase, geographically located to provide a stop-over and refueling site for short range fighter aircraft being ferried across the Atlantic to support the war effort in Europe. Iqaluit's first permanent inhabitant was Nakasuk, an Inuk guide who helped American Air Force planners to choose a site with a large flat area suitable for a landing strip. Long regarded as a campsite and fishing spot by the Inuit, the place chosen had traditionally been named Iqaluit – "place of many fish" in Inuktitut – but Canadian and American authorities named it Frobisher Bay, after the name of the body of water it abuts.

The Hudson's Bay Company moved its south Baffin operations to the neighbouring valley of Niaqunngut, officially called Apex, in 1949 to take advantage of the airfield. The population of Frobisher Bay increased rapidly during the construction of the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW line, a system of radar stations, see North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)) in the mid-1950s. Hundreds of construction workers, military personnel, and administrative staff moved into the community, and several hundred Inuit followed to take advantage of the access to medical care and jobs the base provided. In 1957, 489 of the town's 1,200 residents were reported to be Inuit. After 1959, the Canadian government established permanent services at Frobisher Bay, including full-time doctors, a school and social services. The Inuit population grew rapidly in response, as the government encouraged Inuit to settle permanently in communities with government services.

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