About Chesterfield Inlet

Chesterfield Inlet, or Igluligaarjuk in Inuktitut (meaning places with a few houses), is a small community located on the west coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region, approximately 101 km north of Rankin Inlet and 1600 km north of Winnipeg (N63° 19' W90° 14').

Chesterfield Inlet is one of the oldest settlements in Nunavut, with a history dating back to the whalers who once wintered in the region. Named about 1749 after Philip Dormer (Stanhope), 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773) who was the Secretary of State from 1746-48. The community is located near the inlet that bears its’ name, which runs from Hudson Bay to Baker Lake. The inlet on which the community sits was once used as a summer settlement for the Thule Inuit.

From the mid 1800's to the beginning of this century, whalers visited the area regularly and often over-wintered in Chesterfield Inlet. They counted on local Inuit to hunt for them and to man their whaleboats.

At Chesterfield Inlet, Inuit often gathered to seek employment or to trade goods. Until the 1950's the community was a major centre North of Churchill, Manitoba. It was the Hudson's Bay Company's main supply centre for other posts in the area. Chesterfield was also the site of the largest RCMP barracks and the largest Roman Catholic mission in the eastern arctic, as well as the medical and educational centre for the region.

Population : 484