Resolute (Qausuittuq)


74°42’N, 94°50’ W. Elevation 67 m at the airstrip. 1561 air km NE of Yellowknife, 3443 air km NW of Montreal, in the Baffin Region. On the northeast shore of Resolute Bay on the south coast of Cornwallis Island, in the Queen Elizabeth islands.


In flat table-land with bluffs at the coast, on low limestone and shale shore south of landmark Signal Hill (183 m).


Average annual precipitation: 5.3 cm rainfall, 84 cm snowfall, 13.0 cm total precipitation. July mean high 6.8 °C, low 1.4°C. January mean high -28.4 °C, low -35.7 °C. Winds N-NW at 21.5 km/h.


From archaeological excavations, it has been concluded that there have been at least three stages of occupation at Resolute Bay. The Dorset culture was the first, followed by an early phase of the Thule culture, in which the artifacts found show strong Alaskan affinities. These were probably both short periods of occupation, possibly by only a few families. A late or developed phase of the Thule culture was of longer duration, with a considerably larger population. Resolute Bay was named after H.M.S. Resolute, one of the ships in the Franklin search expedition commanded by Captain H.T. Austin. An airfield was established at Resolute Bay in 1947 during construction of a joint US-Canadian weather station. In 1953, Inuit from Port Harrison, Quebec and Pond Inlet were relocated to Resolute to take advantage of the island’s superior game resources. The community has become a key transportation, communications and administrative centre. A new townsite was completed in 1977. With oil and gas exploration in the High Arctic Islands, and the development of Cominco’s Polaris mine on Little Cornwallis Island, the community should continue to maintain its importance as an area centre for some time to come.


  • Population: June 1981, 168; 1986 census, 184; June 1988 GNWT estimate, 166; 1991 census, 171.
  • 1986 sex distribution: 59% male, 41% female.
  • 1986 age distribution: 0-4, 16%; 5-14, 22%; 15-64, 62%, 65+, 0%
  • 1987 ethnic distribution: 0% Dene/Metis, 68% Inuit, 32% non-native.
  • Languages spoken: Inuktitut, English.

Political Organization

  • Hamlet status, Nov. 2, 1987
  • Mayor: George Eckalook
  • Senior Administrative Office: Susan Salluviniq
  • Hamlet Office: (819) 252-3616; fax (819) 252-3749
  • MLA Levi Barnabas (High Arctic)


Major activities -- Transportation/communications; oil and gas exploration, mining (Polaris, Little Cornwallis Island)

Banks -- None. Co-ops: Resolute Bay Eskimo Co-operative Limited

Renewable Resources --
Fish: Arctic Char;
Marine Mammals: Ringed Seal, Harp Seal, Bearded Seal, Beluga, Narwhal, Walrus;
Game: Arctic Fox, Wolf, Polar Bear, Muskox; Quotas: Muskox, 19; Polar Bear, 38
Total number of trappers (1987-88): 8
Total dollars earned: $6 800
Renewable Resources Officer: Josh Hunter

Non-renewable Resources --
Minerals: Lead/zinc. Cominco Polaris Mine, Little Cornwallis Island 129 km N.
Oil and Gas: High Arctic Islands exploration, Western Sverdrup Basin

Tourism -- Base for Arctic island tours; photographic expeditions, fishing, polar ice cap sights; facilities for visitors.

Prices and Income -- Private Households Average Income, 1985: $39 802. Food prices, 1987: 68% higher than Yellowknife.

Local Businesses -- In addition to those listed above: Air transport, general retail, food, hotels, outfitters, restaurants.


Air (Take-offs and landings, 1988-89: 5 670)
Airport Operator: Transport Canada
Airport Facilities: Licensed 1981 m x 60 m (Rwy 16-34) and 1219 m x 46 m (Rwy 10-28) gravel runways, taxiways and apron; Airfield lighting including high intensity runway edge, threshold, end, approach, identification lights (Rwy 10-28), taxiway/apron edge lights, rotating beacon, lighted wind socks; Navaids - NDB, VOR/DMW, VOT, VDF, ILS/DME; air terminal building.
Services:Flight Service Station (FSS) - Weather/Communications/Flight Planning; Scheduled airfield maintenance; Aircraft storage/servicing/minor repairs available; Crash firefighting and rescue services; Aircraft plug-ins available.
Scheduled Service: Canadian North via Edmonton/Yellowknife/Iqaluit/Montreal and Kenn Borek Air Ltd.
Charter Service: Kenn Borek Air Ltd.; Bradley Air Services Limited.

Eastern Arctic Sealift; Barge service: operator, Transport Canada from Montreal.


  • Postal Code: X0A 0V0. Mail twice a week
  • Telephone: Bell Telephone (Anik), local and long distance.
  • Radio: CBC Radio (Anik)
  • Television: CBC Television (Anik)

Medical/Social Services

  • Community Health Centre: two beds, one bassinet, one crib
  • Medical staff: five person
  • Social Service Facilities: one person Community Social Services office; Alcohol and Drug Committee


  • School: Qarmartalik, K-9; Student Enrolment (1988-89): 332; Teachers: 2; Local Education Authority: Resolute Bay Education Council.

Housing and Accommodation

  • NWT Housing Corporation units (1989): 30
  • HAP housing allocations 1980-89: 3
  • GNWT staff housing units: 7 houses

Recreation and Culture

Community hall, outdoor skating rink, playground.