Shit, I Found Diving in Ulukhaktok, North West Territories

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Claire, Chris, and Jeremy travel far north for a contract and get to dive in the Arctic Ocean while they’re there. Ulukhaktok is the second most northern community in the Northwest Territories, located at 70°44’N. Ulukhaktok is 932 km (578 miles) north of Yellowknife on Victoria Island.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing are key sources of revenue, as they are in other tiny traditional communities in the territories, but printmaking has recently taken over as the primary source of income. The Kangiryuarmiutun dialect of Inuinnaqtun, which is part of the Inuvialuktun group, and English are the two main languages spoken in Ulukhaktok. It has a tundra climate with long cold winters and brief, yet chilly summers.

Ulukhaktok is also home to the world’s northernmost golf course, which annually hosts the “Billy Joss Open Celebrity Golf Tournament.” They’ve been able to draw players from the Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos, as well as golfers from other countries, over the years. This event is rising in popularity, with excursions to traditional subsistence regions for Arctic char and Northern Lake trout, as well as restricted commercial fishing and hunting.

The Holman Eskimo Co-op was created in 1961 by the villagers of Ulukhaktok with the assistance of Roman Catholic priest Father Henri Tardy. The Co-op was founded to offer money to community members by manufacturing arts and crafts, and it is well-known for its printmaking. Artists in the community sell their work through the Ulukhaktok Arts Centre, which was previously known as Holman Prints. Mary K. Okheena and Helen Kalvak are two well-known painters who have created prints for the Holman Eskimo Co-op.

Natkusiak and his family were the first to arrive in the area in 1937. The Hudson’s Bay Company relocated from Walker Bay two years later, and the same year, a Roman Catholic mission was established.

The 2016 Census revealed a population of 396 people, down 1.5 percent from the 2011 Census, with 370 Inuvialuit or Inuit making up 96.4 percent of the population and the rest (6.6 percent) being non-Indigenous.

Jeremy founded and produces “Shit I Found Diving in YK” on Northwestel Community TV and is the owner of Yellowknife Divers Inc. Jeremy and his friends go on diving adventures in the north to discover secret treasures, retrieve missing items, and reveal stories about the beautiful waters of the North.

Dive Report:

air temp 4.2 C. water temp 1.8c
we were in the water for 24 min. getting a rope removed from a transport tug
most of the dive was less than 10 feet, under the hull of the tug.

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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