Cambridge Bay (Ikaluktutiak)


69°07’ N, 105°03’ W. Elevation 27 m at the airstrip. 960 air km NE of Yellowknife, 1 851 air km NE of Edmonton, approximately; in the Kitikmeot Region.
On the southeast coast of Victoria Island north of the mainland Arctic Coast.


Situated in an area of sags and swells, dry debris-strewn knolls, and moist depressions, with very little vegetation.


Average annual precipitation: 6.8 cm rainfall, 76.8 cm snowfall, 13.6 cm total precipitation. July mean high 11.9° C, low 3.9 °C. January mean high -30.0 °C. Winds NW at 21.8 km/h.


Cambridge Bay has been the site of summer gatherings for hundreds of years. The people of the area are referred to as “Copper Eskimos” since they made a variety of implements from native copper. The site was named by the Hudson’s Bay Company for H.R.H. Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, during an expedition to delineate the north coast of the continent in 1839. The HBC opened a post in 1927 and the RCMP arrived in 1926. Up to the 1950’s few Inuit lived year-round in Cambridge Bay. It was not until the construction of a LORAN Navigational Beacon in 1947 and of a DEW Line site in 1955 that the community started to grow. The settlement became the key transport and supply centre for all the DEW Line sites in the sector. In April 1981, Cambridge Bay became the regional headquarters for the Territorial Government’s Kitikmeot Administrative Region.


  • Population: June 1981, 815; 1986 census, 1 002; June 1988 GNWT estimate, 1 027; 1991 census, 1116.
  • 1986 sex distribution: 53% male, 47% female.
  • 1986 age distribution: 0-4, 14%; 5-14, 22%; 15-64, 62%, 65+, 2%
  • 1987 ethnic distribution: 2% Dene/Metis, 72% Inuit, 26% non-native.
  • Languages spoken: Inuinnaqtun (Inuktitut), English.

Political Organization

  • Hamlet status, April 1, 1984
  • Mayor: Wilf Wilcox
  • Senior Administrative Officer: Henry Brown
  • Hamlet office: (403) 983-2337; fax (403) 983-2193
  • Liquor restriction: Alcohol control committee
  • MLA Kelvin Ng (Kitikmeot)


Major activities -- Government, commercial fishing, trapping, transportation/communications.

Banks -- None. Service by mail from Yellowknife. Co-ops: Ikaluktutiak Eskimo Co-operative Limited.

Renewable Resources --
Fish: Arctic Char, lake trout, landlocked char, tulibee, whitefish; commercial fish plant owned by co-op;
Marine mammals: Ring seal, Harbour seal;
Game: Caribou, Arctic fox, Wolf, Polar Bear, Muskox; Quotas: Caribou, 175; Muskox, 565; Polar Bear, 10-23.
Total number of trappers (1987-88): 46
Total dollars earned: $44 650
Renewable Resources Officers: David Kaomayok, Duane Smith.

Non-renewable Resources -- Minerals: low-level copper potential within 81 km.

Tourism -- Fishing, camping, bird watching.

Prices and Income -- Private Households Average Income, 1985: $36 522. Food prices, 1987: 52% higher than Yellowknife.

Local Businesses -- In addition to those listed above: Meat products, building contractors, diving services, general retail, food, fabric goods, recreational vehicles, building management, accounting, security services, hotels, outfitters, restaurants, engine repair, janitorial, travel services.


Air (Take-offs and landings, 1988: 4 997)
Airport Operator: Transport Canada
Airport Facilities: Licensed 1524 m x 46 m gravel runway, taxiways and parking apron; Airfield lights consisting of runway/taxi/apron edge lights, runway threshold, end, identification and approach lights, VASIS, rotating beacon and lighted wind socks; Navaids include NDB, VOR/DME; Air terminal building.
Services: Flight Services Station (FSS) - Weather/Communications/Flight Planning; Scheduled airfield maintenance, Aircraft parking plugs; Crash firefighting and rescue services.
Scheduled Service: Canadian North via Yellowknife; First Air via Iqaluit; NWT Air via Yellowknife.
Charter Service: Adlair Aviation (1983) Ltd.
Water Aerodrome: Unlicensed float plane access, two docks and limited services; lies within land Aerodrome Traffic Zone; drifting ice can be expected in bay until August with break-up July 15 and freeze-up September 10.
Water Aerodrome Location: 69 07’ N, 105 02’W. Elevation: 00.

Local trucking services: Kingmick Services and Expediting. Bus/taxi: Ikaluktutiak Co-op Taxi, Igloo Enterprises Taxi.

Barge service: Operator, NTCL from Hay River.


  • Postal Code: X0E 0C0. Mail three times a week
  • Telephone: NorthwesTel (Anik), local and long distance.
  • Radio: CBC Radio (Anik), FM, LPAM (Inuit Radio Society), community radio.
  • Television: CBC Television (Anik).

Medical/Social Services

  • Community Health Centre: six beds, two bassinets, two cribs
  • Medical staff: eight persons
  • Social Services Facilities: five person Community Social Services Office, GNWT Children’s Group Home. Cambridge Bay is Regional headquarters for Kitikmeot Region; regional superintendent and clerk. Community-based social services and projects: Katimavik Centre, Day Care Centre, Group Home for Young Offenders.
  • Churches: St.George’s Anglican Mission, Glad Tidings, Roman Catholic Mission, Anglican Church.


  • School: Illihakvik, K-9; Student Enrolment (1988-89): 254; Teachers: 14; Local Education Authority: Cambridge Bay Education Council.
  • Vocational and Continuing Education: Adult education centre, one resident adult educator; Arctic College extension program.

Housing and Accommodation

  • NWT Housing Corporation units (1989): 160
  • HAP housing allocations 1980-89: 19
  • GNWT staff housing units: 34 houses, 27 duplexes, 33 rowhouses, 8 apts.
  • Commercial accommodation: Ikaluktutiak Hotel. Accommodates 44, shared bath, TV, dining room, craft shop, convention facilities.

Recreation and Culture

Community hall; movies, dances, curling rink, ski trail, playfield, scuba diving, community events. Playground, arena, school gym, Cambridge Bay Centennial Library. Umingmuk Frolics, May Festival, Active Recreation Committee.