On August 23, 2003, Ukkusiksalik, became Nunavut’s 4th and Canada’s 41st national park. Pronounced /ooo koo SIK sa lik/, the name Ukkusiksalik refers to the carvable stone found in the area from which an ukkusik [pot] is made. Just south of the Arctic Circle on the West coast of Hudson Bay, this 20,500 km2 (7,900 mi2 ) park surrounds and includes the saltwater inlet of Wager Bay. The park is home to a watershed, 8-meter (26 ft) tides, a reversing waterfall, and the freshwater Sila River that empties into the bay. Rich marine life including bearded and ringed seals supports a large polar bear population. Not a bay for kayakers!
Ukkusiksalik National Park conserves a representative sample of tundra atop Canadian Shield bedrock. There are several species of flowering plants within the park along with the Purple Saxifrage that is Nunavut’s territorial flower. Small stands of boreal forest live in the few sheltered valleys. Between these nest and forage friendly covers plus the marine, lake and river biomes, are found sandhill cranes, sandpipers, falcons, loons, geese, and mammal populations of caribou, wolves, and foxes.
Hundreds of archaeological sites with finds of human artifacts confirm that this area has provided good hunting for several cultures for many hundreds of years. Today, photographers add to the hunt… for the midnight sun in the summer and brilliant northern lights in winter.
B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage