Aklavik, which means "place where one finds grizzly bear", is located on the Mackenzie River Delta about 120 km from Inuvik and just over 100 km south of the Arctic Coast. The only way to drive there is along the ice road in the winter. In the summer, you have to take a small plane or use a boat.
According to the town's website - www.aklavik.ca - "Aklavik is a peaceful fishing and trapping community of some 600 Gwich'in and Inuvialuit. Gwich'in and Inuvialuit have traditionally gathered here to trade for goods from as far away as the Pacific and Arctic coasts. From its earliest days, Aklavik has been a multi-ethnic town, home to Inuvialuit, Metis, Gwich'in and non-aboriginal cultures."
Aklavik used to be the administrative capital of the western Arctic. There is an interesting connection between Aklavik and Inuvik... because Aklavik is so flood prone and didn't allow much room for expansion (see map below), Inuvik was created as a brand new town by the federal government in 1953 as a replacement administrative capital. It was originally called "New Aklavik", before being renamed Inuvik.
The town is even ready for tourists - you can get your picture taken with the "Mad Trapper", who is buried in Aklavik!
Below is a picture of the sign outside the local cemetery where Albert is buried.
Some more pictures of the town:
We paid a visit to the local government office building, which houses the Hamlet office, government services offices, the community corporation office, as well as pre-school facilities (more photos of the cute kiddies in another post!).
These posters were on the walls in the building - identifying different kinds of furs and how to prepare them. In this town, this is relevant information!