Tuktoyaktuk | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, incorporated as a hamlet in 1970, population 898 (2016 census), 854 (2011 census). The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk is located on the coast of the Beaufort Sea, east of the Mackenzie River delta, and 1,135 km northwest of Yellowknife by air. Tuktoyaktuk, commonly referred to as Tuk, is a transportation and government centre, as well as a base for oil and natural gas exploration.


The Tuktoyaktuk area is the traditional home of the Kittegaryumiut. The Kittegaryumiut are a group of Inuit whose population diminished in the late 1800s and early 1900s due to a series of epidemics. In 1934, the Hudson’s Bay Company established a trading post at Tuktoyaktuk (the post was originally known as Port Brabant). The Inuit who settled at the site after the post was established were from the immediate area as well as other parts of the North. Tuktoyaktuk was given its present name (Inuktitut for "looks like caribou" and referring to some rocks that look like the animal) in 1950. The community was the site of a manned DEW Line sub-station and now is the site of a radar station for the North Warning System (see also early-warning radar).