Grise Fiord Community Guidelines

The most northern community in mainland North America

The Inuktitut name for our community is Ausuittuq, which means “place that never thaws”.

In 1953 and 1955 our families were transported by the Canadian Royal Military Police. We came from Inukjuak in northern Quebec and from Pond Inlet on the northern tip of Baffin Island, arriving here long after the Tuniit and Thule peoples, who had camps in the area between five hundred and two thousand years ago.

Grise Fiord is 2000 km north of Inukjuak, where most of our families came from, and the climate is far more severe, with nearly all the flora and fauna being different. Survival was difficult at first, but over the years we have adapted to live and hunt on these rocky shores.

Today we refer to ourselves as Aujuitturmiut and this stark, beautiful land is our home. Life on the southern edge of Ellesmere Island may be otherworldly to some visitors, but for us it is the every-day backdrop to our every-day lives.

The Inuktitut name for our community is Ausuittuq, which means “place that never thaws.” Photo: Scott Forsyth, Adventure Canada

Items of Interest

  • Grise Fiord means ‘Pig Inlet’ in Norwegian, a reference to the walruses that the Norwegian explorer Otto Sverdrup saw when he sailed here in 1899 on board the Fram.
  • The first year-round settlement in the area was established at Craig Harbour where the RCMP detachment was constructed in 1922, 55 km east of present day Grise Fiord.
  • In 1961 a school was established in the present-day location of the community because it was the only area with suitable land for further expansion. All of the nearby families moved to the community in order to be close to the school.
  • Grise Fiord is the most northern community in North America at 1160 Kilometers north of the Arctic Circle.
  • The average yearly temperature is -16.5°C and we receive 24-hour sunlight from April 22nd to August 20th.
  • Our population fluctuates between 115 – 130 people, depending on the season.

Points of Interest

  1. Hamlet Office
  2. Firehall
  3. Hunters and Trappers Association
  4. Health Centre
  5. Ummimak School
  6. Community Hall / Gym
  7. Grise Fiord Arctic Co-op
  8. Co-op Hotel
  9. Church
  10. RCMP
  11. Wildlife Office
  12. Community Freezer
  13. Grise Fiord Housing Association
  14. Power Plant
  15. Cemetary
  16. Airport Terminal