Last modified: 2005-12-10 by phil nelson
Keywords: iqaluit | nunavut | fish | mountain | ice sheet |
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by Arnaud Leroy, 18 November 2005
Source: Iqaliut city hall
Prior rendition, dates unknown
by Chris Pinette, 1 April 1999
The following is adapted from the Iqaluit web site on the city history:
The area around Iqaluit was first explored by Martin Frobisher in 1576. Frobisher thought that he had discovered not only the Northwest Passage but also gold - and he was wrong in both cases. It was not until 1861 that Charles Francis Hall discovered that Frobisher's straits was really a bay.
Commercial activity in the 1800's was centered around the whaling industry, but in the 20th century it shifted to fur trading, with the Hudson Bay Company opening its first trading post in the area in 1914 at Ward Inlet. The fur industry collapsed in the 1930s.
In 1955, Frobisher Bay was settled as a center for construction of the DEW line and by 1959 Frobisher Bay became a permanent settlement. In 1963, Frobisher Bay served as a base for the US Strategic Air Command, but in 1963 the US Air Force left and the town became a center for Canadian government operations in the eastern Arctic.
Local government began in June 1964 when the first community council was formed. In 1970, Frobisher Bay became a "settlement" followed by status of a village (1974) and town (1980). The first mayor was elected in 1979. In 1987 the name was changed to Iqaluit (place of many fish, in Inuktitut).
The signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in 1993 resulted in the selection of Iqaluit to be the territorial capital in December, 1995. On April 18, 2001, Iqaluit officially became a city.
Phil Nelson, 12 May 2005