Rankin Inlet North
Unlike most hamlets in Nunavut, which were founded around trading posts or church missions, Rankin Inlet (population 2,358) has its roots in mining.
The community arose in 1955, as Inuit from throughout the eastern Arctic's Kivalliq region came to dig and process ore for the Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine. Though the operation was short-lived, the community endured and eventually became the area's transportation and administrative hub.
In the mid-1990s, Rankin lobbied hard to become the new capital of a new territory to be named Nunavut. It had to settle for "second city" status after Iqaluit was named capital.
Still, the community is growing, thanks to civil service jobs that are based there as part of the territorial government's decentralization policy.
Rankin residents could someday see a gold mine at Comaplex Minerals Corp.'s Meliadine West property just north of the hamlet. In August, Comaplex said it was pleased with the results so far from its drilling and exploration at the property.
Despite their names, the hamlet's two electoral constituencies largely divide the community east to west. Rankin Inlet North takes in the eastern half of town, along the Hudson Bay waterfront. Much of the community's downtown is here, including the post office, a restaurant and the Siniktarvik Hotel.
No one contested Tagak Curley's return to territorial politics in 2004 — the longtime Inuit politician captured the Rankin Inlet North constituency by acclamation, making him the only MLA to win without contest that year.
Curley, who was a cabinet minister in the Northwest Territories legislative assembly from 1979 to 1987, failed to be chosen after he put his name forward for the position of premier following the 2004 election; his fellow MLAs gave the job back to Paul Okalik.
Instead, Curley sat among the regular, or non-cabinet, MLAs during his term.
Curley's re-entry into politics filled the void left by MLA Jack Anawak, who is also a former Liberal MP but who left politics in 2004 to become Canada's ambassador for circumpolar affairs.
MLAs also snubbed Anawak as a contender for premier, although he was widely touted as being a possible premier when he was elected. After holding various ministerial portfolios, Anawak was booted to the backbenches for condemning the cabinet's plan to transfer government jobs from Rankin Inlet.
Voter turnout here has been low to moderate.
(The CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external sites. External links will open in a new window.)
- 'We just have to roll up our sleeves,' says Nunavut premier-elect Aariak
- Nunavut's new premier-elect said she plans to get to work right away with her fellow MLAs to move the northern territory ahead over the next four years.
- Eva Aariak topples incumbent to become Nunavut's 2nd premier
- First-time member of the legislative assembly Eva Aariak defeated incumbent Paul Okalik to become Nunavut's second premier Friday, and the northern territory's first female premier.
- Nunavut MLAs get ready to pick premier, cabinet
- As members of Nunavut's third legislative assembly prepare to decide who will lead the territory for the next four years, rumours and intense lobbying abound in the contest for the top job.
- Akulliq byelection scheduled for Dec. 15
- People living in Repulse Bay and Kugaaruk, Nunavut, will finally choose their MLA next month, after a court challenge cancelled the voting there in last month's territorial election.
- Nunavut MLAs to choose premier, cabinet next week
- Nunavut's newly elected politicians will select the territory's premier, speaker, and most of its cabinet ministers in a leadership forum scheduled for Nov. 14.