Sanirajak | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Sanirajak, Nunavut, incorporated as a hamlet in 1978, population 891 (2021 census), 848 (2016 census). Sanirajak, previously known as Hall Beach, is located on the east shore of the Melville Peninsula.


Sanirajak is the traditional name of the community, meaning "flat land" in Inuktitut. Between its incorporation and 27 February 2020, the hamlet was named Hall Beach after Captain C.F. Hall, a 19th-century American Arctic explorer. Afterwards, it was officially switched back to its traditional name by the Nunavut Government.


The area of Sanirajak is particularly rich in walrus and whales, and there is archeological evidence of walrus hunting going back to at least the 13th century. The current community arose in response to the opening of a DEW Line site at Sanirajak in 1955. Many Inuit people moved into the community in search of employment, schools and other services. In recent years, tourism has become an important part of the local economy, particularly sportfishing for Arctic Char.