Arviat, Nunavut, incorporated as a hamlet in 1977, population 2318 (2011c), 2060 (2006c). The Hamlet of Arviat is located on the west coast of Hudson Bay and is the southern-most community of mainland Nunavut. Formerly Eskimo Point, the name was changed in 1989 to the name the Inuit had long used to denote the locale, "shape of the bowhead whale."
As early as 1738, its former name appeared on various maps and charts. The site was a summer camp for the nomadic inland Pallirmuit Inuit of south Keewatin until the 1900s. Permanent settlement occurred when a Hudson's Bay Co trading post was built in the early 1920s. Roman Catholic and Anglican missions soon followed.
Today the community is one of the major settlements of the eastern Arctic. Most residents still speak Inuktitut and actively participate in traditional pursuits. Of the 38% residents employed in the wage economy, most are employed by the local and territorial governments. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in the service sector and in the artists.