Nunavut National Parks: Ukkusiksalik National Park

Nunavut National Parks are world renowned for their majestic and untouched natural beauty.

Far into the north eastern region of Nunavut lies the sprawling and majestic Ukkusiksalik National Park.

Ukkusiksalik National Park stretches across 20,500 square kilometres, and while it the smallest of all the Nunavut National Parks, it is the sixth largest national park in Canada.

Ukkusiksalik National Park is located just west of the community of Repulse Bay and the Arctic Circle. The park encompasses Wager Bay, a 100 km long saltwater inlet on the northwest coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavut.

Ukkusiksalik National Park is named after the soapstone found in various locations within the park, and the park and literally translated to where there is material for the stone pot (from ukkusik, meaning pot or saucepan like qulliq).

The parkland is entirely uninhabited, making it a prisitine and untouched landscape that is rich in history. Some archaologists suggest that Inuit had lived in the area from 1000 AD through to the 1960s, and the Hudson’s Bay Company operated a trading post in the park region from 1925-1947.

Over 500 archaeological sites have been identified in the park, including fox traps, tent rings, and food caches from ancient times.

Ukkusiksalik National Park boasts an incredible variety of natural features, including a rift valley, eskers, lowlands, glaciers, rivers, rock deserts, rubble-covered uplands as well as tidal flats and river mouths that provide staging areas for migrating birds and waterfowl. Wager Bay has 8 metre tides and one of the most interesting features in the park is the reversing falls.

Cultural artifacts within Ukkusiksalik are amazingly numerous, with over 500 archaeological sites already located, it is one of the most historically significan Nunavut National Parks.

For more information on Ukkusiksalik National Park and the other Nunavut National Parks check out the Nunavut Parks website.

Photo by Ansgar Walk