"Life in a Northern Town", Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada - - July 5-8, 2008
Living north of the Arctic
Circle, on Permafrost and near the Arctic Ocean.
Also, home to "Ice Road Truckers" as seen on the History Channel.
ALL Photos © K. Dewey, School of Natural Resources, Applied Climate Sciences, UNL.
Welcome sign at the entrance to Inuvik, at the end of the Dempster Highway (LINK to our Dempster Highway photos)
|Inuvik (an Inuvialuktun word meaning "the place of Man") is a unique community in the Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort region. The inhabitants of Inuvik come from the region's two major Native groups, the Gwich'in and the Inuvialuit, but they also include a very sizeable non-Native population. Inuvik was planned by the Canadian government in the late 1950's in order to replace flood-prone Aklavik as the region's administrative centre. Canadian Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker dedicated Inuvik as "The first community north of the Arctic Circle built to provide northern facilities of a Canadian town. And designed not only as a base for development and administration, but as a center to bring education, medical care and new opportunity to the people of the western Arctic."|
|Inuvik City Center||Inuvik City Center|
|Inuvik was created 50 years ago!||Famous and often photographed church in Inuvik.|
|The Gwich'in Tribal Council Building||The Gwich'in Tribal Council Building close up view of sign|
|Inuvik hospital - very colorful building||Inuvik City Center - very colorful building|
|Inuvik residential area - very colorful buildings||Inuvik residential area - very colorful buildings|
|Inuvik residential area - very colorful
This use of colorful paint was seen throughout the Arctic and
is also seen in Iceland and Scandanavia.
|Inuvik residential area - note the house is
raised above the
ground. This is necessary to keep the permafrost in the
ground from melting and collapsing the building.
|Inuvik duplex raised above the ground on stilts||Inuvik house raised above the ground on stilts|
|Inuvik house raised above the ground on stilts||Inuvik apartment building raised above the ground on wood blocks|
|Inuvik house raised above the ground on stilts||Samuel Hearne Secondary School in Inuvik is also on stilts|
|An extreme example of a house raised above the ground||Samuel Hearne High School in Inuvik. Note the utilidor|
|Inuvik residential area, note the utilidors. Utilidors are above-ground enclosed utility conduits that are used in larger communities in the northern polar region where permafrost does not allow the normal practice of burying water and sewer pipes underground.||
Inuvik residential area, note the utilidors.
Utilidors may also
be used to carry fuel lines such as natural gas. They are not normally used to carry wiring for electric, telephone and
television service, which are usually conveyed along poles.
|Inuvik residential area, note the utilidors||Inuvik residential area, note the utilidors|
|Inuvik residential area, note the utilidors||Inuvik residential area. Not much backyard room to play!|
|Inuvik residential area ready for building, note the utilidors||
$1.99 for each orange or $8.49 for a small bag. Its a long way
from the orange groves where these were picked!
|Miniature golf in Inuvik||Happy young residents enjoying the warm 76 F summer weather|
|Canadian Government research ship, Inuvik harbor||Our hotel was also on stilts due to permafrost underneath it|
We asked for a north facing room so we could see the
all night "midnight" sun. This was the lowest point and the
sun began to rise back into the sky. I underexposed the
landscape in order to photograph the sun directly.
Inuvik has 24 hours of daylight/sunlight during the summer. For example, this year, 2008, the sun rose at 20 minutes after midnight on May 23 and did not set again until 11:38 PM on July 18. That was a 56 day period without the sun setting!
Conversely the sun sets on Dec 4, 2008 at 12:11 PM and
does not rise again until 11:36 AM on January 6, 2009.
Click here for the solar table for Inuvik.
|Entrance to the Ice Road||An abandoned ship which can be seen each week on "Ice Road Truckers" as the trucks enter the river (ice road)|
|The road may be closed but at least I got an Ice Road Driver shirt||Ice Road Driver shirt|
|Northwinds Industries featured on the show "Ice Road Truckers"||The Ice Road has melted near Inuvik|
|Inuvik Airport||"North Wright Air" airlines at the Inuvik Airport|