trade networks of Kitikmeot Inuit reached well beyond their immediate
neighbours in the region. One of the main arteries for the movement
of goods and raw materials was from the south. One of the draws
for Kitikmeot Inuit was the abundance of driftwood at a place
called Akiliniq. Akiliniq is a hilly area on the shores of Tipjalik
(Beverly Lake) whose name means "it has driftwood".
attraction of this site for Inuit from throughout the Kitikmeot
and Kivalliq regions made it a place of exchange of news, ideas
and trade goods.
One of the main routes for Inuit from the Victoria Island and Coronation
Gulf areas to travel to Akiliniq was through Bathurst Inlet.
1915 anthropologist Diamond Jenness met an elderly Kiluhiqturmiut
shaman named Illatsiak (Ilattiaq), who had done the trip at least
three times. He would travel from Bathurst Inlet to Akliniq in the
early winter and then return the following spring. Jenness learned
that Kitikmeot Inuit traded for guns, ammunition and knives at Akiliniq.
Ilatsiak himself had traded for a saw, an axe, gunpowder and two
big snow knives.
Ilatsiak, Kiluhiqtuq Shaman
to Ilatsiak's Song (MP3 - 3.95mb)
Dance Song, sung by Ilatsiaq, the Kilusiktok shaman.
Inuit from the Kivalliq region also travelled north into the Kitikmeot
along this trade route. During this time Jenness also made recordings
of a Pallirmiut man named Qaqsavina, and a man from Akiliniq named
Atqaq singing traditional songs or pihiit who were visiting Kitikmeot
The presence of Pallirmiut visiting Kitikmeot
Inuit demonstrates the extent of the distances travelled by Inuit
historically. It also shows that this trade network was a source
of goods from Hudson’s Bay Company posts on Hudson Bay.
It is not known whether this trade route was active when the Churchill
post was opened in 1717, but iron items were observed among Inuit
at Bloody falls in the 1770s. The Kiluhiqturmiutaq Illatsiak travelled
to the HBC post at Chesterfield Inlet that was opened in 1911.