Pangnirtung (or Pangniqtuuq, in syllabics: ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᖅ) is an Inuit hamlet of 1,500 people on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. It serves as the starting point for trekkers departing for the Akshayuk Pass in Auyuittuq National Park.
"Pangnirtung" means "the place of the bull caribou" in the Inuktitut language.
Many Inuit have achieved success by marketing their traditional arts. They transformed traditional drawing skills to produce lithographs and other forms of prints, allowing reproduction and wider distribution of their work. Other artists have made sculptures and carvings in local stone. Since the government established a weaving studio in 1970, many Inuit have learned to weave and are producing tapestries and other works that find an international market.
The Inuit and their ancestors have inhabited the area for thousands of years, perhaps as long as 4,000. Their cultures became well-adapted to the climate and environment.
Contact with European Canadians has been limited to less than the last century. In 1921, the Hudson's Bay Company established a trading post in Pangnirtung. Two years later, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police erected a permanent office. The first government-appointed teacher arrived in 1956. The first administrative office was established in 1962.
Pangnirtung used to be a seal-hunting community, and when sealskin prices fell in the 1970s and 1980s, hunting became uneconomical. With substantial government assistance, the community operates a turbot fishery, and the development of arts and crafts, including Pangnirtung's unique weaving industry, has been encouraged.
Pangnirtung gets 24 hours of sunshine as day from June 8 to July 4. In summer, June through August, temperatures range from 5°C to 20°C. In winter, temperatures can drop to -40°C. There is limited sunlight in the middle of winter and it can get very windy. With the wind-chill factor, it can feel like -60°C.
It is a small town so getting around by foot is not difficult. The streets are generally unnamed.
- 1 Uqqurmiut Centre, ☏ . An Inuit arts facility that houses the Pangnirtung Print Shop and the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio. The centre sells an assortment of craft items and carvings made by the Inuit of Pangnirtung.
There are two trails suitable for day hikes.
- The Ikuvik Trail starts on the east bank of the Duval River and leads to the peak of Mount Duval (671 m above sea level). As the terrain is rocky most of the way, there is no real path. Follow the stone markers (inukshuks) along the Duval River and then turn to a V-shaped notch in the ridge and then pick either a direct path straight to the peak or a longer, less steep one around the south side of the mountain.
- The Ukama Trail follows the west bank of the Duval River for about 5 km (3 miles) to the mouth of an unnamed stream (elevation 300 m). At the end of the trail, climb uphill (about 40 m elevation) to reach a plateau with good views of the terrain. From there, you can choose to follow Duval River as it turns eastward, to follow the stream to small lake fed by glacier melt, or to continue climbing southeast to enjoy excellent views of the Duval River valley and the mountains surrounding it.
The selection of fresh produce and specialty items in the local stores is limited. The cost of food in Nunavut is extremely high. All fresh fruit, produce, dairy and meat products are air freighted to Pangnirtung from Ottawa or Montreal
- Pangnirtung Northern Store, ☏ . General merchandise, groceries, a KFC and a Pizza Hut.
- Inuit Co-op, ☏ . General merchandise, groceries, arts and crafts, and a convience store.
The only public eating establishment in town is a fast food court at Northern Store supermarket. It offers KFC and Pizza Hut counters.
Pangnirtung is a dry town. No alcohol is sold in town and guests at the Auyuittuq Lodge are prohibited from bringing alcohol to the hotel.
- Auyuittuq Lodge, ☏ . It has 16 rooms with single beds and shared bathrooms, and 6 rooms with en suite baths. Single travelers may find themselves sharing a room with a stranger in times of high demand. The lodge serves breakfast (6:30-9.30AM), lunch (noon-1PM), and dinner (6-7PM on weekdays, 5-6PM on weekends) to guests. It is not open to the public. Laundry, cable TV and Wi-Fi available. From $239.
- Pangnirtung Fjordview Bed & Breakfast, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Two rooms with a single bed and one room with a double bed. Cable TV, Wi-Fi, breakfast included, kitchen and laundry available for guest use, facility is available to the guests. Guests hiring a local outfitter, purchasing art produced by local artists, or who make a contribution to the Inuit Ilagiit Youth Centre & Soup Kitchen get a 10% discount. Arrangements can be made for interpreter, catering, community tours and other support services. Contact Markus Wilcke. $200 + 5% tax/night/room (single or double occupancy).
There is an official camp site (without any facilities) near the mouth of the Duval River.
There is a post office in town.