The Iqaluktuuq Project is a long term study of the cultural history of the Iqaluktuuq area near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. This area is rich with archaeological deposits that tell the story of almost 5000 years of cultures occupying the region. 

Iqaluktuuq, meaning “place of many fish ”, is a short stretch of the Ekalluk River near Cambridge Bay. Modern elders recall it as a very important place for char fishing, and in past years caribou were hunted here in large numbers.

In 1999, the Kitikmeot Heritage Society decided that Iqaluktuuq should be studied by an archaeologist. They contacted Dr. Max Friesen, an archaeologist at the University of Toronto, and since then annual summer field camps have brought together elders, youth, and archaeologists to record and collect important information, and also to provide Inuinnaqtun immersion opportunities for youth. The combination of traditional knowledge and archaeology has revealed that Iqaluktuuq is one of the most important archaeological areas in Nunavut. The Iqaluktuuq Project combines the best of community-based research and a careful academic approach to an important group of archaeological sites.

Visit our virtual exhibit titled The History of Iqaluktuuq, or read through the online publication Iqaluktuurmiutat: Life at Iqaluktuuq by Darren Keith and Max Friesen.

The Iqaluktuuq Project has also produced many academic publications that record the history of Inuit people and their earlier ancestors. These include:


Project Support

Funding for the Iqaluktuuq Project was provided by the Nunavut Department of Culture and Heritage, the Polar Continental Shelf Project, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.