Annual management plan implementation update 2018

Auyuittuq National Park

The Auyuittuq National Park Management Plan identifies the long-term strategic direction and management goals for Auyuittuq National Park (ANP). The plan is consistent with the Nunavut Agreement, the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for Auyuittuq, Quttinirpaaq and Sirmilik National Parks, and Parks Canada’s mandate to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations.

This 2018 update is PCA’s annual progress report on the implementation of the management plan for partners, stakeholders, and the public.

A river running through a mountain valley.

Table of contents

Strategy 1: Engaging the communities of Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq in connecting visitors to the land, marine ecosystems and Inuit culture.

Objective 1: To diversify and enhance visitor experience in Auyuittuq National Park and the communities of Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq.


  • The 2017 partnership with Adventure Canada Cruise Company was extended to continue development of products/programs for cruise ship visitation with support from the Joint Park Management Committee (JPMC). PCA staff accompanied passengers to Nedlukseak Fiord. Potential new sites for cruise ship visits were assessed by the Cultural Resource Advisor and community members.
  • The Inuktitut Place Names study, conducted with the Inuit Knowledge Working Group, was completed, and will be used in future visitor experience products.
  • Parks Canada welcomed 844 visitors to Auyuittuq National Park in 2018. The majority of visitors travelled to the Park by local outfitters and a minority (approximately 24%) were cruise ship passengers.
  • A Qikiqtarjuaq outfitter now carries passengers into the fiords north of Qikiqtarjuaq, in addition to North Pangnirtung Fiord, resulting in more day use opportunities.
  • Parks Canada staff worked with Pangnirtung outfitters to enhance the winter “Arctic Circle Trips”; outfitters and staff guided 4 trips in April, 2018.
  • New signs were installed through the Akshayuk Pass and at the visitor centres in Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq based on previous assessments.

Objective 2: To enhance community relations.

  • Approximately 60 people in Pangnirtung joined Parks Canada in celebrating Parks Day.
  • The JPMC held one in-person meeting and two teleconferences in 2018.
  • Since the establishment of the Piqalujaujaq Centre in Qikiqtarjuaq, PCA has been able to support community tourism activities with staff in the office.
  • Since January 2018, ANP has 100% Inuit employment, all of whom can communicate in Inuktitut. This is a huge success and makes the park offices very welcoming environment to community

Objective 3: To improve marketing of the park and promote adjacent communities of Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq by partnering with tourism organizations.

  • The 2018 social media offer included six stories promoting ANP, Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq.
  • Auyuittuq National Park was promoted through Travel Nunavut digital ads campaign with Facebook and The Globe and Mail from January to April, 2018.
  • Over 2800 contacts were made by PCA staff promoting ANP at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show, Montreal Outdoor Adventure Show and the Nunavut Tradeshow (Iqaluit).
  • A major goal of the partnership with Adventure Canada is to develop ANP visitor offers that will be available to the entire cruise industry.

Strategy 2: Gathering and sharing knowledge to build connection to place.

Objective 1: To use Inuit knowledge and science in inventories, monitoring, education and visitor experience programs of the park.

  • Exploratory work on new sites for cruise ship visits included cultural resource inventories with Inuit elders and youth of Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq in the north end of the park.
  • Inuit staff working for ANP and local outfitters enrich visitor experiences by sharing their knowledge with park users. Other businesses (including Adventure Canada, Arctic Kingdom and Blackfeather) hire Inuit to support their trips, as cultural interpreters or safety support. PCA continues to urge all non-Inuit companies to hire local staff.
  • Parks Canada’s annual research call out letter invites researchers to work in Nunavut’s national parks; directs researchers to include community members in their work; requires letters of community support and requests field reports to be shared with communities.
  • Inuit Knowledge Working Groups in Qikiqtarjuaq and Pangnirtung were involved in the following projects:
    1. Pilot project to determine how Inuit Knowledge can be a part of the park’s Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program on tundra and glacier ecosystems - ongoing; and
    2. Inuit Place Name study within Auyuittuq National Park - completed in 2018.

Objective 2: To strengthen the connection of youth to Inuit culture and history and to the park’s glaciated landscape and fiords.

  • Connecting youth to park history and landscape through student work placements in each adjacent community.
  • Partnership with Nunavut Youth LEAP developed to support a youth hiking trip in 2019.
  • Park staff delivered two presentations to high school students in Qikiqtarjuaq.
  • Park staff in Pangnirtung organized a winter trip to the Arctic Circle with High School students.
  • With the completion of the above mentioned Inuktitut place name project, additional Inuktitut names will be included in all materials for youth programs.

Objective 3: To strengthen the connection of other Canadians to Inuit culture and history and to the park’s glaciated landscape and fiords.

  • Active presence on Nunavut Field Unit Facebook and Twitter accounts. ANP related Facebook posts reached over 25,000 viewers.
  • Support was provided for third party promotion of ANP for Canadians and international audiences:
    • Great Nature Japanese feature documentary on ANP;
    • National Geographic;
    • Above and Beyond Magazine; and
    • Canadian travel documentary targeting millennial travellers regarding interesting places to explore in Canada.
  • Media promotion of the completion of Inuit Knowledge Working Groups’ Inuit Place Names project.
  • A total of 106 web articles mentioning ANP were published, externally, in 2018.

Objective 4: To cooperate with the communities of Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq to manage issues of common concern.

  • Worked with the Government of Nunavut and the Hamlet of Qikiqtarjuaq to address contamination around two PCA lots.
  • Supporting Government of Nunavut’s tuberculosis eradication program by offering the Qikiqtarjuaq Transient Unit to medical personnel from the Department of Health.
  • Worked with Hamlet of Qikiqtarjuaq to relocate Parks Canada garage to a more appropriate location.
  • While a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of National Defense (DND) to guide use and access has been in the works for a number of years, PCA maintains a good working relationship with DND.

Area 1: Akshayuk Pass

Objective 1: To increase the availability of products and programs for visitors.

  • Coordinating and promoting spring and summer day-trips to the park for visitors in Pangnirtung, including:
    1. Arctic Circle snowmobile trips with a local outfitter and Auyuittuq National Park interpretive staff.
    2. Ulu Peak interpretive hikes with Auyuittuq National Park staff.
  • The park offices continue to offer an array of Auyuittuq specific merchandise as part of the Parks Canada signature series merchandise which includes ball caps, t-shirts, neck tubes, mugs and key chains.

Objective 2: To maintain and restore ecological integrity, protect cultural resources and respect Inuit culture and harvesting.

  • The Inuit Knowledge Working Groups projects reported on above under Strategy 2, Objective 1 apply to Akshayuk Pass.
  • Ecological integrity monitoring for glacier, tundra and freshwater ecosystems takes place in Akshayuk Pass and the Penny Ice Cap area. Unfortunately, monitoring activities were not completed in 2018 due to weather and logistical challenges.

Area 2: Coronation Fiord to the head of Narpaing Fiord

Objective 1: To increase the availability of products and programs for visitors.

  • Based on advice from the JPMC, a Qikiqtarjuaq outfitter was permitted to take visitors into Coronation Fiord and Narpaing Fiord; however, the request to include polar bear den viewing in this area was not authorized.
  • Previously mentioned explorations for new visitor experiences took place in Coronation Fiord, Nedlukseak Fiord, Makataq Fiord, and North Pangnirtung Fiord.

Objective 2: To maintain and restore ecological integrity, protect cultural resources and respect Inuit culture and harvesting.

  • Superintendent orders are in place for seasonal area closures related to annual Narwhal harvesting and annual berry harvesting. This messaging is included in the Visitor Information Packages and Orientation.
  • Zoning regulations are in place and respected to support harvesting and cultural needs.

Area 3: Okoa Bay to Confederation Fiord

Objective 1: To increase the availability of products and programs for visitors.

  • Nedlukseak Fiord (within Area 3) was the location of the 2017 and 2018 cruise ship test visits to ANP by PCA partner, Adventure Canada.

Objective 2: To maintain and restore ecological integrity, protect cultural resources and respect Inuit culture and harvesting.

  • The JPMC members were consulted on the Inuit needs and aspirations in determining whether or not motorized access would be considered in this area.
  • Cultural Resource Management assessment conducted in Nedlukseak Fiord sites visited to explore potential visitor opportunities. Information will be used to protect cultural resources and in the development of a cultural resources monitoring plan.

Conclusion — Next steps

  • Review the 2010 Auyuittuq National Park Management Plan and initiate the management planning process as per the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement in 2019.
  • It is a PCA goal to increase JPMC capacity and involvement in park management and community engagement, for instance, through involvement in annual planning.
  • PCA will start using the Inuit Place Names map in products and programs.
  • With two cruise ship site visits to Nedlukseak Fiord, this location has the potential to be offered to the cruise ship community as an on-going stop if fully supported by the Auyuittuq JPMC, the adjacent communities, and a Visitor Activity Assessment. Further consultation on this potential visitor experience offer will take place during the review of the 2010 management plan.
  • Consideration of in park visitor facility upgrades and operational asset upgrades in adjacent communities.
  • A new Arctic Circle sign will be installed in summer 2019 on the west side of Weasel River.

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