Artists & Communities / Communities
In Inuktitut, Coral Harbour is called Salliq or Salliit, meaning a large, flat island in front of the mainland. The English explorer, Sir Thomas Button, named the land Southampton Island, in honour of his benefactor, the Earl of Southampton, who promoted his search of the Northwest Passage in 1604. Incredibly, in the icy waters near the settlement, you can find fossilized coral that once flourished when Northern Canada had a warmer climate. Today, of course, the local climate is not conducive to its growth. Coral Harbour is a thriving community, where its largely young population blends Inuit traditions with modern life. While walrus meat sits on the dock for everyone to share, for example, a front-end loader busily prepares a nearby lot for new construction. Artists from the area carve their sculptures from soapstone, ivory, whalebone or the marvelous limestone which is found at nearby Bear Island.