Pond Inlet Community Guidelines

Where the modern meets the tradtional

The Inuktut name for our community is Mittimatalik, which has two competing origin stories. Some of us think it means “the landing place”, referring to a large rock on which ‘seagulls used to alight and from which they used to fish.’ Others believe it means “place where Mittima is buried.” No one knows who Mittima was or where he came from.

Photo by Bruno Cazarini, Silversea Cruises

General Description
Thule have lived on the northern tip of Baffin Island through periods known to archaeologists as pre-Dorset, Dorset, Thule, and modern Inuit. Our ancestors lived in sealskin tents (tupiit) in the summer and igloos (igluvigait) or sod huts roofed with skins and moss (qarngmait) in the winter. You can see a recreation of an Igluvigait in our community today. To see an igloo, you’ll have to come back in the winter.

Two centuries of continued contact with Europeans has brought us to the present-day, where we now live in modern houses and enjoy modern amenities. We still retain aspects of our traditional lifestyle and our heritage has a significant and meaningful impact on our day-to-day lives. The wilderness is our grocery store and today we still hunt, eat and use parts from seal, narwhal, geese, walrus, bowhead whales, foxes, caribou, and polar bears.

Items of Interest

  • In the 1820s British whaling vessels began to hunt bowhead whales in the area. Just over a century later, in 1921, the Hudson’s Bay Company established a post within the present day boundaries of the community.
  • In 1960 our community was home to only around fifty people. Today there are around 1700 of us, approximately 95% of whom are Inuit.
  • Pond Inlet receives 24 hours of sunshine from May 5th to August 7th
  • From mid-November to mid-January, there is no sun, just starlight, moonlight, and the Northern Lights reflecting off the ice and snow, with an average temperature of -40°C.
  • We refer to ourselves as Tununirmiut, which is thought to mean “people of the shaded place” or Mittimatalingmiut, meaning “people of Mittimatalik.”

Points of Interest

  1. Anglican Cemetery
  2. Catholic Cemetery
  3. Old Anglican Minister’s Residence
  4. Old Freezer
  5. Air Strip
  6. Wildlife Office
  7. Northern Store
  8. Traditional Qammaq
  9. Timothy Anglican Church
  10. Sirmilik National Park Office
  11. Nattinak Visitor Centre
  12. Tununiq Sauniq Co-Op
  13. Ulaqjuk Elementary School
  14. Pond Inlet Hamlet