Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay) is Inuktitut for 'place of fish'. It is located near the mouth of the Sylvia Grinnell River that flows into Frobisher Bay - named after Martin Frobisher who sailed into the bay in search of the Northwest Passage. Frobisher believed that he had discovered gold on an island in the bay, but it was only fools gold that he took home to England.

History of Iqaluit

1576 - Sir Martin Frobisher sails into the entrance of Frobisher Bay, believing he has found the route to China, through 'Frobisher's Straites'

1861 - Charles Francis Hall arrives at Frobisher Bay, learning from a local hunter named Koojesse that Frobisher's 'Straites' is in fact a bay and not the fabled Northwest passage. On this trip, Hall camped on the banks of a river, opening into a narrow inlet. The river he named Sylvia Grinnell and the Inlet, Koojesse after his guide and geographer.

1800's - Commercial Whaling brings men, ships and trade to the Frobisher Bay area.

1880 - The British Government transfers sovereignty of the Arctic Archipelago to the Canadian government.

Early 1900's - Collapse of whaling, rise of fur trade. Catholic and Anglican Church both gain strongholds in the Arctic, through the work of missionaries.

1914 - the Hudson's Bay Company opens a trading post at Ward Inlet, 40 miles from Iqaluit's current location.

1920's - Establishment of Hudson Bay trading posts throughout Baffin Island. Establishment of RCMP posts in Eastern and High arctic to establish Canadian sovereignty.

1930's - Fur prices crash, many southern traders withdraw, giving Inuit hard times as animals were over-hunted and southern commodities become scarce.

1942 - U.S. Air Force selects Koojesse Inlet as site of major airbase.

1943 - The American Airstrip is operational and the Hudson's Bay company moves its trading post to Apex, in part to take advantage of improved transportation and communication technologies offered by the American Airbase, and in part to better serve the Inuit who had moved farther up the bay.

1955-57 - The new settlement of Frobisher Bay becomes center for DEW line construction operations. This huge project brought tones of supplies and hundreds of men into the area (by 1957 the population was approx. 1,200; 489 of whom were Inuit).

1959 - The Canadian Federal government begins bringing doctors, teachers, administrators, clerks and support staff to the establishing area. Inuit begin to settle permanently in large numbers at Frobisher Bay and a community at Apex (Niaqunnguut).

1960-63 - Frobisher Bay is the location of a U.S. Strategic Air Command Unit. By 1963, when the American Air Force left, Frobisher Bay had become the Canadian government administration, communications and transportation center for the Eastern Arctic.

June 1964 - The first community council is formed.

1970 - Frobisher Bay is officially recognized as a settlement.

1974 - Frobisher Bay is officially recognized as a village.

1976 - The Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC) proposes the creation of the Nunavut Territory.

1979 - Frobisher Bay's first Mayor is elected.

1980 - Frobisher Bay is officially designated as a town.

1987 - Frobisher Bay officially becomes Iqaluit, reverting to its original Inuktitut name.

May 1993 - Signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in Iqaluit.

December 1995 - Iqaluit is selected to be the capital of the new territory of Nunavut.

April 1, 1999 - The new Territory of Nunavut is officially created. National and International politicians, media and tourists flock to Iqaluit for the ceremonies and celebrations.

April 19, 2001 - Iqaluit receives it's Order of Official Status as a City.

In December 1995 Iqaluit was selected by a plebcite of the residents of Nunavut to be the Capital of the new territory. On April 19th 2001, Iqaluit received the order of City status making in the most northerly capital city in Canada.

Although Iqaluit is the smallest capital in Canada with only 6000 residents, it is the largest community in Nunavut, almost three times the size of the next largest Rankin Inlet, with 2200 people, and growing at a pace double that of Southern Canada. Iqaluit is a transportation hub for jet flights from Ottawa, Montreal, Yellowknife, and Rankin Inlet as well as daily services between other Nunavut communities.

Infrastructure and services found in other cities can also be found here, some may not be in the form that might be expected elsewhere but they are here just the same; services such as a hospital, Legislative Assembly, college campus, International airport, walking trails, museum, visitor services, research facilities, hotels and restaurants, theatre, swimming pool, racquet club, curling and ice arenas. Also, as is the case in other capital cities, services, government and government agencies and industry groups representing the territory have offices located here. The City also has imagery and information services, arts and crafts, and other displays representative of many of the areas and special qualities of the Nunavut Territory.