The Town of Inuvik, the largest Canadian community north of the Arctic Circle, is located on the east channel of the Mackenzie River, and 1000 km northwest of Yellowknife. Inuvik (“living place”) was created in 1954 when the federal government attempted to relocate the entire community of Aklavik, which had just undergone severe flood damage. (Aklavik remains today).
The Town’s population and economy expanded in the 1970’s and 1980’s as a result of oil exploration in the Beaufort Sea. The boom went bust by the mid-80’s when oil prices collapsed.
Today, Inuvik has a population of 3600, and has grown from a government centre to a northern hub, as well as a transportation, health and education centre for the region. The economy of the Town has recently benefited from oil and gas exploration (Mackenzie Gas Project). Inuvik is home for the Inuvialuit and the Nihtat Gwich’in (“mixed people”).