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Taloyoak Travel Guide

Sitting at the foot of a series of rocky hills on the shores of a small body of water known as Stanners Harbour, Taloyoak is the northernmost community on the Canadian mainland (69° 32' north latitude).

Taloyoak means "large caribou blind" in Inuktitut, and refers to a stone caribou blind traditionally used by Inuit of the area to corral and harvest caribou. The traditional inhabitants of the Taloyoak (pronounced "ta-low-ruaq") area were the Netsilik Inuit, the Netsilingmiut, a people largely sustained by the abundance of seals in the region, which provided their main source of food and clothing.

The search for the Northwest Passage has played an important role in the contemporary history of the Taloyoak region. The first significant European exploration occurred between 1829 and 1833, when Sir John Ross and his crew combed the area after their ship became trapped in ice. Between 1848 and 1860, the area was visited extensively by British and American sailors searching for the lost Franklin expedition.

In 1948, the foundation of the modern community began, when poor ice conditions forced the Hudson's Bay Co. to close its trading post at Fort Ross on the south coast of Somerset Island, some 250 kilometres north of Taloyoak. The post was relocated to its present location at Stanners Harbour, and Taloyoak - then known as Spence Bay - was born.

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