About Inukjuak – Nunavik / Arctic Quebec | Return
Inukjuak* [pop: under 000]
The English name for this tiny community perched on the east coast of Hudson’s Bay is Port Harrison. It was so named by A.P.Low, a mining company employee who explored the area at the turn of the century. The Eskimo name, which is in common usage in Quebec, means “The Giant” and comes from a captivating bit of folklore.
AS legend has it, a terrible giant once lived here, terrorizing the Inuit. The giant was eventually slain, however, by a quick-witted hunter who he had taken captive. Through various ploys the hunter managed to make the giant weary and, upon reaching home he decided to rest before eating his catch. While the giant slept, the hunter cut off his head.
The story doesn’t end here, however, for the giant had a fierce wife who was enraged at her husband’s death. She ran after the hunter, scooping up a rock to throw at him. The nimble hunter darted behind a huge boulder and the rock, missing him, hit the boulder smashing it to two. Water began to pour forth from the split rock. So much water came that it formed a river. Thwarted and thirsty, the giant’s wife stopped to drink from the water which caused her to burst. The river flows even now and it is called [in French] The Inoucdjouac, named after the giant.
*Reproduced from the 1976 Inoucdjouac Print Catalogue