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Artists & Communities / Communities
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut’s second largest community, is located on the western shores of Hudson Bay, approximately 1,100 miles north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
It is the business and transportation hub of the Kivalliq region and the gateway to Central Canada. The community was established as a mining centre in 1955 by North Rankin Nickel Mines; however, there is a great deal of archaeological evidence that the Inuit had lived in the area for thousands of years.
The ancient Thule people once used the nearby Meliadine River, and built stone weirs to channel Arctic char into shallow waters where they could be speared. There have also been archaeological discoveries of ancient pottery in the region.
With the 1962 closure of the North Rankin Nickel Mines, the government was anxious to encourage local artists to market their exquisite carvings, fabric creations and ceramics. The artists in the community continue to thrive by incorporating new materials into traditional themes. Artists from Rankin Inlet include Leo Napayok and Jerry Ell.