Akulivik - About Us
The area around Akulivik teems with game. The many lakes of the region abound in fish and the Youville Mountains, or Qimiit in Inuktitut, are the natural habitat of ptarmigan, arctic hare and foxes. Numerous islands near the village are the summer refuge of various species of birds. Just a few minutes from Akulivik is Smith Island, known as Qikirtajuaq by Inuit and one of their traditional hunting grounds. The steady currents of Hudson Bay make it favourable habitat for marine wildlife and flora. In winter, Akulivimmiut practise a unique method of harvesting mussels in nearby shallow waters. After piercing holes through the ice, they use a hooped net fixed to one end of a long pole to scoop mussels from the sea floor.
Akulivik was incorporated as a community in 1976. However, the history of the area goes back thousands of years. Relatively recently in 1610, the explorer Henry Hudson passed by Qikirtajuaq. Later, in 1750 the island was given the name Smith Island in honour of Sir Thomas Smith, merchant, first Governor of The Company of Adventurers and discoverer of the North-west Passage.
In 1922, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) established a post on the site
of today's settlement. The outpost was moved to a more strategic and accessible
point on Qikirtajuaq, in 1926. Inuit at that time were still living all
along the coast. However, over time some groups began to congregate around
the trading post. Between 1922 and 1955, the area where Akulivik is located
today was the summer camp of these groups. By 1933 according to HBC records,
there were about 140 Inuit living on Qikirtajuaq. In 1952, the post was
closed, forcing the now somewhat sedentary groups to move to Puvirnituq,
the next closest trading post.
This information was obtained from the Nunavik Tourism Association Web Site www.nunavik-tourism.com