Kugluktuk is located in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot Region, and is the most western community in the territory at 67° 49.2' N, 115° 8.4' W. It was formerly known as Coppermine, as it is located at the mouth of the Coppermine River on the Coronation Gulf, west of the closest Nunavut community of Cambridge Bay.
Coppermine was probably the site of semi-permanent Inuit fishing and sealing camps from very ancient times. The Hudson’s Bay Company sent an exploration voyage led by Samuel Hearne to search for copper. Hearne reached the mouth of the river and named it the Coppermine on July 14, 1771. In 1865, influenza spread along the coast, wiping out 30% of the population. In the years 1913-16, Diamond Jenness, an ethnologist with the Canadian Arctic Expedition, studied and recorded the traditional lifestyle of Inuit in the Coppermine area. The development of the community was relatively rapid after 1916. The Hudson’s Bay Company established a post in 1927. The RCMP arrived in 1932. A weather station, radio facilities, nursing station and a school followed over the next few decades. Oil and gas exploration in the 1970’s provided training and employment for a large proportion of the population. The community was renamed Kugluktuk in 1996.