I lucked out and am spending my week in Cambridge Bay – the hub of Nunavut’s western Kitikmeot region. I left Iqaluit Monday night and flew across the territory, stopping in Rankin and continuing to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where I spent a lovely evening enjoying fast internet and the luxuries of bigger cities…like paved roads.
Tuesday I flew east to Cambridge Bay (its in Mountain time zone…two hours behind Iqaluit). Here, I’ve been working on a very neat community-based research project around Tobacco Use. Its a pretty neat place – home to about 1,500 people, its a quarter of the size of Iqaluit. Its also still winter here – no melting snow exposing a winter’s worth of garbage, snow fall all day long… and of course, much chillier temperatures.
Its quaint, built along the water and full of history. For example, a Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line station, reminiscent of the Cold War worries over missile attacks from Russia. The first ‘freighting of goods’ through the Northwest Passage happened just off the coast here.
The visitors centre is full of historical tidbits and beautiful art.
It also includes a stuffed and mounted polar bear. Its double my height. It is also staffed by a very friendly high school student who is headed to university in Alberta next fall.
And, there is even a Game Hall that serves pop and chips from 7 until 11pm on weeknights. I know – don’t carried away. More than any of though things though, it is absolutely gorgeous: white snow, blue skies, puffy clouds, neat buildings…its quaint and clean and tidy in a way that Iqaluit isn’t.
I’m looking forward to spending more time here – and promise to keep you posted on my findings!