Coral Harbour, also known as Salliq by the Inuit, is a community in Southampton Island, north of Hudson Bay. It's part of the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, which includes other native settlements like Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Rankin Inlet or Repulse Bay.
Southampton Island is flat terrain characterized by coastal marine barrens, inlets, rocky flats, sedge and tundra.
The first recorded European person to ever visit this island was the Welsh explorer Thomas Button in 1613, when he was trying to find the Northwest Passage. Button named this island after his sponsor, Earl of Southampton.
From the earliest Inuit hunters - the Sallirmiut people, the last of the Thule people - to the Scottish whalers, and then the Hudson's Bay Company fur traders, Coral Harbour has long served as a strategic point on the northern rim of Hudson Bay.
Coral Harbour / Salliq
Coordinates: 64° 08′ N, 83° 10′ W
Population: ~ 840
The modest community appears like a rather poor and desolate settlement; in this case, that is not quite true - in fact, Coral Harbour enjoys most modern facilities and ammenities, and life standards are higher then you could expect for such a remote and isolated location.
Coral Harbour has become populated by a blend of many Inuit peoples who have migrated from Baffin Island.
People in this community can enjoy the traditional as well as modern livelihoods. The island's resources (caribou, fox, ringed seal, walrus, arctic char) and local services create businesses and attract visitors. Arts and crafts are also added values.
There are two companies operating flights from Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit, Nunavut's capital, throughout the week.
The Northern store
To visitors, Coral Harbour offers excellent conditions for cross-country skiing, dog sledding, or several excellent spots to fish for arctic char nearby, at the Kerchoffer river.
The Kerchoffer Falls are located about 24 km from Coral Harbour, off the airport road. They are well known for the 25 foot fall and the beautiful scenery.
Artists from Coral Harbour
Coral Harbour is home to many artisans who work in ivory, soapstone, seal skin and print.
Pudlo started his life in Coral Harbour, but he began drawing in the early 1960s after he abandoned the semi-nomadic way of life and settled in Cape Dorset. He experienced the radical transformation of life in the Arctic that occurred in the 20th Century and reached its peak in the 1950s.
His work - more then 4000 drawings and 200 prints - has been shown at exhibitions in the National Gallery of Canada, but also in Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and New York; and published in the 1978 Cape Dorset's annual catalogue.
With humour and a fascination with the trappings of technology - airplanes in particular - Pudlat expresses the paradoxes of the encounter between traditional Inuit culture and modern life.
Throughout Winter, blizzards are common in Coral Harbour.
Temperatures occasionally drop to -50°C, the sea ice freezes in November and only breaks up in early July.