Canada

Pangnirtung, Nunavut

Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada
Pangnirtung (or Pang, as it often called locally) is an Inuit hamlet in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, located on Baffin Island. Situated on a coastal plain at the coast of Pangnirtung Fjord, the area of the town is 7.54 square kilometres. Pang is the nearest town to Auyuittuq National Park. Inuit people have inhabited this area for thousands of years, and contact with European Canadians has been limited to less than the last century.

Child biking in Pangnirtung

Pangnirtung Hamlet & Schools

Though Inuit have resided in this region for perhaps as long as 4,000 years, Pangnirtung was not incorporated as a hamlet until 1973. First contact with European Canadians in the region likely began around 1921, when the Hudson Bay Company built a trading post in Pang. In 1929 a hospital was established there, and in 1962 the community saw a large increase in residents as many Inuit in Cumberland Sound moved to Pang when a distemper epidemic killed off most of their dogs. The first government-sponsored teacher arrived in Pang that same year.

There are two schools in Pang, accommodating a growing population of 1,500+. Alookie School serves grades K-6, while Attagoyuk Illisavik caters to grades 7-12. The local economy in Pang is centered largely on government-related employment, a commercial fishery, other land-based activities, and limited tourism. Pang currently has the only commercial fishery in all of Nunavut. The hamlet also serves as a gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, which opened in the 1970s, and is an important center for Inuit art.

Like most Nunavut communities, residents of Pang use the ocean for subsistence travel, either directly to hunt for seals and narwhal, or indirectly to travel to land-based caribou hunting grounds. Also like most Nunavut communities, there are no roads outside the hamlet, which relies completely on air travel for passenger and cargo access.

You can learn more about the schools in Pangnirtung and throughout Nunavut at www.edu.gov.nu.ca. More information about the hamlet itself can be found at www.pangnirtung.ca, from which some details for this page's text was drawn.