Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Welcome to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada

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Cambridge Bay summary

Cambridge Bay named for Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, is a hamlet located in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut, Canada. The traditional Inuinnaqtun name for the area is Ikaluktuutiak (old orthography) or Iqaluktuttiaq (new orthography) meaning "good fishing place"; The 2008 Rand McNally Road Atlas shows a new name of Ikaluktutiak, but its status as official is not known.
The traditional language of the area was Inuinnaqtun and is written using the Latin alphabet rather than the syllabics of the Inuktitut writing system. Like Kugluktuk, Bathurst Inlet and Umingmaktok syllabics are rarely seen and used mainly by the Government of Nunavut. Located on the south coast of Victoria Island Cambridge Bay is a transportation and administrative center for the western Kitikmeot Region. As of the 2006 census the population was 1,477 an increase of 12.8% from the 2001 census. The population is approximately 80% Inuit. It is a normal stop for passenger and research vessels traversing the Northwest Passage.

The area was a traditional hunting and fishing location and archeological sites are often found. Barren-ground Caribou, Muskox, Arctic char, Lake trout and Ringed Seal were the primary and remain important food sources today. Situated east of Cambridge Bay is Ovayok Territorial Park.

Cambridge Bay was the site of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Hudson's Bay Company outposts established during the 1920s. Following World War II a LORAN tower was built near the previous location of Cambridge Bay and a DEW Line site established in 1955. Unlike the majority of the DEW Line radar sites which were abandoned or automated, this site, known as CAM-MAIN, remains a manned operation. The military presence and the services and economy this represented acted as a magnet for Inuit who had previously used the area as a temporary site for meeting, hunting, fishing and trade, and a permanent community was soon established.

During his campaign for the January 2006 Canadian federal election, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper unveiled an Arctic Defence plan which would establish a permanent Arctic training school near Cambridge Bay. In August 2007, Harper announced that the training base would be in Resolute Bay, Nunavut.
Cambridge Bay has northern historical significance. It is the final resting place of the (Baymaud) Maud (ship). A ship captained by Roald Amundsen.

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