Kangirsuk is located on the northern shore of the Payne River, a brief distance inland from the Ungava Bay. Numerous lakes and rivers of the area are famous for their Arctic char and lake trout. Exceptionally strong tides on the Payne River make it an extraordinary location for mussel harvesting. The wildlife and flora of Kangirsuk are also impressive. On the islands of nearby Kyak Bay and Virgin Lake, colonies of eider ducks nest yearly. Inuit women collect their precious down to make remarkable parkas that protect residents from the biting winter cold.
Like many Inuit villages of Northern Quebec, Kangirsuk came into existence due to nearby trading posts. Révillon Frères of France built one in 1921 and, four years later, the Hudson's Bay Company followed suit, although both were often managed by the Inuit themselves. A federal day school was inaugurated in 1959, prompting Inuit to settle permanently. In 1961, the federal government introduced health, housing and social services to the community, which catalyzed intensive development. In 1965, an Anglican mission opened a church in Kangirsuk and a cooperative store was established shortly thereafter. In 1981, Kangirsuk was incorporated as a municipality.
Visit the Payne River, renowned for its high tides and excellent mussel harvesting. Numerous nearby lakes and rivers offer an abundance of Arctic char and lake trout. Wildlife to observe includes beluga whale, seal, caribou and many avian species. An archaeological site not far from the village on Pamiok Island reveals what appear to be the remains of a long house attributed by some archaeologists to Vikings, presumed to have sojourned in the area in the 11th century.