TALOYOAK

Most of the series was filmed in Taloyoak (an Inuktitut word meaning ‘large caribou blind’). Located on the Boothia Peninsula, it’s the most northern community on the Canadian mainland and has a friendly population of 900, 60 of whom are Canadian Rangers.

The traditional people of the area have long been the Netsilik Inuit. Famed Artic Explorer John Ross was the first European to meet them when he led an expedition there in the early 1830s that resulted in the pinpointing of the Magnetic North Pole. The modern community was founded in 1948 when Hudson’s Bay moved a trading post there and the Inuit began to settle. The town was formerly known as Spence Bay.

There are no roads linking Taloyoak to southern Canada -the only ways in or out are by water and air. Once a year in early September, a sea barge arrives with the town's yearly fuel supply, vehicles, building materials, and dry goods. Fresh produce, meat, dairy and other perishables, and anything the store runs out of before the next barge arrives need to be flown in by air at much higher prices.

Taloyoak, which is 95% Inuit, is still quite a traditional community in many ways. Inuktitut is the first language although most everyone is bilingual in English as well. There are a few hunters who still go out any time of the year and supply the community with large amounts of meat – caribou, seal and arctic char are some of the most abundant in the area. During midwinter trips hunters often stay in igloos – a practice growing increasingly rare in many parts of the Arctic. Many families spend the summer months out on the land, coming to town mainly to pick up supplies.

Winter lasts from September to May, with about six-weeks mid-winter spent in 24 hour darkness. Full 24 hours of sunshine a day begins in early May with a week-long carnival to celebrate the light. People get together with events including snowmobile races, igloo building, fishing, dog-team racing and other traditional Inuit games.

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