Where the earth is red.
Aupaluk is the smallest community in Nunavik, located on the southern shore of Hopes Advance Bay, an inlet on the western shore of the much larger Ungava Bay. Located on the northernmost reaches of the Labrador Trough, the soft red earth is rich in laterite, which led to extensive iron-ore mining during the late 1950s.
Located 150 km north of Kuujjuaq and 80 km south of Kangirsuk, the village is perched on the lowest of a series of natural terraces about 45 metres above sea level. The surrounding landscape is flat and ideal for hiking. The village also offers a breathtaking view of the vast Ungava Bay beyond.
Unlike most Nunavik communities, Aupaluk did not develop in proximity to a trading post or mission. Its abundance of caribou, fish and marine mammals allowed the community to go about life in the manner of its forebears, without southern intervention. Then, in 1975, Inuit from other villages relocated to the area, building seasonal camps where their own ancestors had once hunted and gathered. A cooperative store was eventually opened in the early 1980s, which soon led to incorporation of the settlement, officially sanctioning the continuation of a traditional Inuit lifestyle.
Aupaluk is located near the mid-winter migration routes of the Leaf Caribou herd—magnificent to behold as they thunder across the landscape and plunge across fast-flowing rivers. In the warmer months, there is plenty of marine-mammal observation, too, including thousands of seals and hundreds of beluga whales.
Because Aupaluk is such a small community, you will find it easy to meet local Inuit to take you on a tour of their village and surrounding area.
Photo credit: Geneviève Langevin | @dancinginthemoutains