Qikiqtarjuaq, "The big island" is located off the east coast of Baffin Island. Qikiqtarjuaq, the island itself is about 16 km from north to south and 12 km from east to west with a coastline of about 56 km. It is 513 km north from Iqaluit and Pangnirtung is 225 km overland, south via Pangnirtung Pass through Auyuittuq National Park.
Qikiqtarjuaq became a settlement site in 1956-57. Inuit families moved here from Pangnirtung and Clyde River and abandoned Kivitoo to help build the DEW Line Station. A federal administrative office opened in 1958 and the Hudson's Bay Company opened a store in 1960.
School opened in 1961 and the Anglican Mission was established in 1967. Katiqsivik Gospel Church started in 1988. The permanence of Qikiqtarjuaq was assured in 1968 when DIAND closed down the small settlement of Padloping Island bringing its people to this community. Qikiqtarjuaq attained hamlet status on August 31, 1979.
Qikiqtarjuaq is a terrific base for sightseeing up and down the coastline of Davis Strait. Most interesting and attractive areas are Padle Fiord, Maktak Fiord, Durban Island and North Pangnirtung Fiord in Auyuittuq National Park Reserve and are accessible by dog-team, cross-county ski and by snowmobile during the winter. By going north, you can experience a trip to the flow edge and encounter ringed seal concentrations or spot whales. This community is well known for a population of polar bears in and around Qikiqtarjuaq. If you really want to get a bird's eye view of the community and the entire Island, spend and hour or two and climb one of the granite outcrops behind the community. Come to Qikiqtarjuaq and experience the trip you will never forget.