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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 60°01′05″N 70°01′40″W / 60.01806°N 70.02778°W / 60.01806; -70.02778
Country Canada
Province Quebec
Region Nunavik
Established 1921 (trading post)
Incorporated January 17, 1981
 - Type Inuit territory
 - Mayor Joseph Annahatak
 - Federal MP
Yvon Lévesque
(Bloc Québécois)
 - Provincial MNA
Luc Ferland
(Parti Québécois)
Area [1]
 - Total 58.73 km2 (22.7 sq mi)
 - Land 57.26 km2 (22.1 sq mi)
Population (2006)[2]
 - Total 466
 - Density 8.1/km2 (21/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code J0M 1A0
Area code(s) 819 (935 exchange)

Kangirsuk (in Inuktitut: ᑲᖏᕐᓱᕐᒃ, meaning "the bay") is a Inuit village in northern Nunavik, Quebec, Canada. It is 230 kilometers (140 mi) north of Kuujjuaq, between Aupaluk and Quaqtaq. The community is only accessible by air (Kangirsuk Airport) and, in late summer, by boat.



The Kanjirsuk church.
The village was formerly known as Payne Bay.

Kangirsuk is located above the tree line near the mouth of the Arnaud River on the north shore of Payne Bay, 13 kilometers (8 mi) inland from the western coast of Ungava Bay. A rocky cliff to the north and a large, rocky hill to the west partially surround the village.[3]


In the 11th century the area was possibly visited by Vikings. Not far from the village on Pamiok Island, archaeologists have discovered a stone foundation of what is believed to be a Viking long-house.[3]

Inuit have hunted and fished along the Ungava Bay coast for centuries. Permanent European settlement did not occur until 1921 when the Revillon Frères company set up a trading post here,[3] named Payne River in memory of Frank F. Payne, who explored the region during the winter of 1885-1886.[4] Four years later, the competing Hudson's Bay Company also set up a post.[3] The Inuit remained nomadic however and only visited the site as a summer encampment because of the abundance of game.[4]

In 1945, the location was known as Payne Bay. In 1959, the federal day school was founded. From then on permanent settlement by Inuit finally began. In 1961, the federal government provided healthcare facilities, housing, and social services.[3] That same year, the Quebec Government decided to give French names to places of the northern Quebec coast and changed the name of the post to Francis-Babel, in honor of Louis-François Babel (1826-1912). But this name did not take root, and was replaced a year later with Bellin, named after Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772). It was subsequently known as Bellin (Payne) until 1980. That year, the name was changed to Kangiqsuk when the village was incorporated as a Northern Village Municipality (French: municipalité de village nordique). Local authorities disagreed with this transliteration, and in 1982 it was corrected to Kangirsuk.[4]

The barren terrain at the mouth of the Arnaud River and Payne Bay. Kangirsuk is faintly visible on the north (left) shore just below the open water.



  • Population in 2006: 466
  • Population in 2001: 436
    • 2001 to 2006 population change: 6.9 %
  • Population in 1996: 394
  • Population in 1991: 351

Flora and fauna

Payne Bay and the Arnaud River are renowned for its excellent mussel harvesting. Numerous nearby lakes and rivers provide an abundance of arctic char and lake trout.

On the islands of Kyak Bay and Virgin Lake located to the east and north-east of Kangirsuk, respectively, important colonies of eider ducks nest every year.[3]


  1. ^ Total area: Ministère des Affaires Municipales et Régions
    Land area: Statistics Canada
  2. ^ Statistics Canada 2006 Census
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Kangirsuk". Nunavik Tourism Association. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  4. ^ a b c "Kangirsuk (Municipalité de village nordique)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec.,01805&Longitude=-70,02778&Zoom=1700. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  5. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census

External links



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