Qikiqtarjuaq, formerly known as Broughton Island, is located at N67 33' W64 02' just four kilometres off of the east coast of Baffin Island in Davis Strait. It is 100km north of the Arctic Circle and 483 km north of Iqaluit, the territory's capital. Although the island is referred to as the island, as its Inuktitut name suggests, the island is in fact only 12km wide and 16km long.
From the early 1800s, European whalers had been traveling in Davis Strait and trading with Inuit who were in the area during the summer months. Kivitoo, a whaling station 64km north of the current community location, and Padloping Island, 96km south of the island, were the main Inuit gathering points.
The community of Broughton Island did not become a settlement until the mid 1950s when a runway for the new Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line site was being built (the military pulled out of the area in 1992). A number of Inuit families from Padloping Island and Pangnirtung moved there to find employment. Inuit continued to live at Kivitoo until 1962 when a tragic drowning accident took the lives of a number of men who were returning from trading at Broughton Island. The Kivitoo population abandoned their camp and by 1963 had relocated to Broughton Island. Between 1964 and 1968, the Padloping settlement folded up and its residents were relocated to Broughton Island. The community has since been renamed Qikiqtarjuaq.
Population : 627