Nunavut minister signs off on name changes for two communities
Hall Beach officially becomes Sanirajak, Cape Dorset becomes Kinngait
Two Nunavut communities will officially make the switch back to their traditional names, Nunavut’s community and government services minister announced on Feb. 27.
Lorne Kusugak told the legislative assembly that he had signed off on Cape Dorset’s name change to Kinngait and Hall Beach’s change to Sanirajak that morning.
“I thank you for this opportunity as I want to state to my colleagues that earlier this morning I signed a document for two communities in Nunavut allowing them to revert to their original place names,” Kusugak said to applause from MLAs.
Under the territory’s Hamlet Act, a municipal council can make a request for a name change to the minister of community and government services.
Both Hall Beach and Cape Dorset held plebiscites in the winter of 2019 to change back to their traditional names.
“Starting now, Hall Beach will be known as Sanirajak and what was called Cape Dorset starting this morning will be called Kinngait. My colleagues, let’s celebrate with the communities of Sanirajak and Kinngait,” Kusugak said.
Joelie Kaernerk, Sanirajak’s MLA, had stood in the legislative assembly on Feb. 20 to ask Kusugak for an update on the name change.
Around 41 per voted for Kinngait in its plebiscite, while Kaernerk explained that over two-thirds of the community voted in favour of Sanirajak.
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. has encouraged municipalities in the territory that still use English names to consider a switch to their original Inuktut names.
The communities still with English names are listed below:
- Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuuttiaq)
- Gjoa Haven (Uqsuqtuuq)
- Baker Lake (Qamani’tuaq)
- Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk)
- Rankin Inlet (Kangiqliniq)
- Whale Cove (Tikirarjuaq)
- Coral Harbour (Salliq)
- Clyde River (Kangiqtugaapik)
- Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik)
- Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk or Tununirusiq)
- Grise Fiord (Ausuittuq)
- Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq)