Member Co-ops Pangnirtung
Pangnirtung Inuit Co-operative Limited
Pangnirtung, NU X0A 0R0
Ph: (867) 473-8936
Fax: (867) 473-8657
Incorporated in 1968, Pangnirtung Co-op operates a retail store, hotel, cable service, fuel distribution, arts and crafts, and property rentals.
TIME ZONE: Eastern
About the Community
Pangnirtung – “the place of the bull caribou” – is located on a narrow coastal plain against a spectacular backdrop of high mountains and a winding river valley. Legend says a hunter named Atagooyuk gave the place its name well over 100 years ago when caribou had not yet changed their patterns as a result of the incursions of man.
In 1956, the federal government sent its first teacher to Pangnirtung, and in 1962 it established an administrative office. That same year, a disastrous distemper epidemic killed most of the dogs in Cumberland Sound, threatening Inuit livelihood. A number of families moved into the community of Pangnirtung from the land. The resulting change in lifestyle was an abrupt one.
The last few decades, though filled with promise, have also been fraught with difficulties for the people of Pangnirtung. This was a seal-hunting community, and when sealskin prices declined precipitously in the 1970s and 1980s, hunting became uneconomical. With substantial government assistance, the community currently operates a turbot fishery. The government has also encouraged development of arts and crafts, including Pangnirtung’s unique weaving industry.